Madwoman On The Bridge And Other Stories
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Set during the fall-out of the Cultural Revolution, these bizarre and delicate stories capture the collision of the old China of vanished dynasties, with communism and today's tiger economy.
The mad woman on the bridge wears a historical gown which she refuses to take off. In the height of summer she stands madly on the bridge. Until a young female doctor, bewitched by the beauty of the mad woman's dress, plots to take it from her, with tragic consequences.
out of his truck, he just took off! I was right behind him and didn’t know what to do. It was one of those situations where you can’t really win. I just gritted my teeth and kept driving. I hadn’t counted on the old man still being alive, though, and as I drove past he suddenly popped up, his whole body covered in blood, and tried to flag me down!’ The proprietress gave a frightened shout and said, ‘That is scary! You mean he wasn’t dead? Is he dead now?’ ‘How do I know? I was scared half to
walk on. He saw they still had the kind of mosquito net that had long since disappeared from the big cities hanging from the ceiling over the bed. It all felt very familiar, although he didn’t remember there being any such net last year, but that might have been because it was autumn then. The driver crawled under the mosquito net and checked everything with his hands; the bedding seemed clean and had been sprayed with perfume. Slowly he lay down and heaved a sigh; he knew what the proprietress
extended his hand, but seeing that she was not going to take it, he took it back and stared at a button on her overcoat. He said, ‘It’s been many years since we last saw one another. Are you still at the fruit company?’ Shaohong responded, ‘As if there would still be a fruit company! That broke up a long time ago. I work in a private enterprise now. I have to live how I can; I’m not a clever clogs like you going around doing important things.’ Bao Qing responded, ‘Oh, I don’t do anything that
Shaohong. He was agitated and angry. ‘Motherf***! You always complain that other people don’t know how to talk properly, but look at the kind of s*** that comes out of your mouth!’ What surprised Bao Qing was that Fatcat’s exceptionally crude way of reprimanding Shaohong provoked no reaction from her whatsoever. Fatcat’s language was both foul and rough: ‘You festering c***! You think you’re the only one around smart enough to open your mouth. Would it kill you to shut up sometimes?’ Shaohong
produced some derisive hooting noises. Having thus finished mocking his mother, he relaxed and took a closer look at the strangers’ family photo. ‘Whose picture is this? It must be some neighbour’s. Man, do they look lame; so lame, it’s almost cute. Do you know these people?’ Yongshan scanned the photo blankly. ‘No,’ she said. ‘I left here a long time ago. They might be people who moved to Cabbage Market later; I don’t know them.’ Now that he’d been relieved of his onerous burden, her son