Three Sisters

Three Sisters

Translated by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin

9781846590238 July 2010 Paperback 352pp

About the Book


Three sisters struggle to change the course of their destinies in a China that does not belong to them. Yumi uses her dignity, Yuxiu her seductive charms, and Yuyang her desire for success.

This breathtaking story vividly captures the all-consuming desire for power in a society obsessed with saving face. Whether it’s in the Wang family village, where lift is attuned to the rhythm of work and the slogans of the Cultural Revolution, or in urban China of the 1980s, the sisters are not prepared to be just another wave in the ‘infinite ocean of people’.

About the Author

Bi Feiyu is one of the most respected authors and screenwriters in China today. He was born in 1964 in Xinghua, in the province of Jiangsu, China. He is the recipient of several literary awards, including the Lu Xun Prize. He co-wrote the film Shanghai Triad, which was directed by acclaimed Chinese director Zhang Yimou and nomitated for a Golden Globe. In 2010, his novel,Three Sisters, won the Man Asian Literary Prize. He lives in Nanjing, China.

About the Translator

Howard Goldblatt is the foremost translator of modern and contemporary Chinese literature in the West. He has published English translations of more than thirty novels and story collections by writers from China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, and has also authored and edited half a dozen books on Chinese literature.

Sylvia Li-chun Lin teaches modern and contemporary Chinese literature, culture, and cinema at the University of Notre Dame. She translates short stories, poetry, and novels by contemporary writers from Taiwan and China. Her co-translation, with Howard Goldblatt, of Chu T'ien–wen's Notes of a Desolate Man was awarded the 1999 Translation of the Year Prize by the American Literary Translators Association.


'A complex moral tale that also illuminates the country's rise from sleeping tiger to global power.'

'A moving exploration of Chinese family and village life during the Cultural Revolution that moves seamlessly between the epic and the intimate, the heroic and the petty, illuminating not only individual lives but an entire society, within a gripping tale of familial conflict and love.'
Judges of the Man Asia Literary Prize

'An unyielding critique of the emotional fallout of China's Cultural Revolution.'

Bi's compelling and unsentimental book tackles myriad subjects, such as power and corruption, love and betrayal, civil duty and personal sacrifice, and conflict between the rural and urban worlds ... Masterful storytelling.'
San Francisco Chronicle

'One of China's best contemporary novelists, Bi Feiyu has created an insightful portrait of China during the past half a century with a tale both epic and intimate. Three Sisters is an important novel.'
Yiyun Li