Nonfiction

A Private Life by Ran Chen, John Howard-Gibbon

By Ran Chen, John Howard-Gibbon

Author note: John Howard-Gibbon [Translator]
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From one in all China's so much celebrated modern novelists comes this riveting story of a tender woman's emotional and sexual awakening. Set within the turbulent many years of the Cultural Revolution and the Tian'anmen sq. incident, a personal existence exposes the advanced and fantastical internal lifetime of a tender lady becoming up in the course of a time of severe social and political upheaval.

At the age of twenty-six, Ni Niuniu has come to simply accept ache and loss. She has suffered the dying of her mom and an in depth pal and neighbor, Mrs. Ho. She has lengthy been estranged from her tyrannical father, whereas her boyfriend—a significant and good-looking poet named Yin Nan—was pressured to escape the rustic. She has survived a hectic affair with a former instructor, a psychological breakdown that left her in a psychological establishment for 2 years, and a stray bullet that tore during the flesh of her left leg. Now dwelling in whole seclusion, Niuniu shuns an international that turns out incapable of accepting her and in its place spends her days wandering in brilliant, dreamlike reveries the place her fractured memories and wild fantasies merge together with her inescapable emotions of depression and loneliness. but this eccentric younger woman—caught among the disappearing traditions of the earlier and a modernizing Beijing, a flood of thoughts and an unknowable destiny, her selected solitude and her irrepressible longing—discovers power and independence via writing, which transforms her flight from the hypocrisy of city lifestyles right into a trip of self-realization and rebirth.

First released in 1996 to common serious acclaim, Ran Chen's arguable debut novel is a lyrical meditation on reminiscence, sexuality, femininity, and the customarily arbitrary differences among insanity and sanity, alienation and belonging, nature and society. As Chen leads the reader deep into the psyche of Ni Niuniu—into her innermost secrets and techniques and sexual desires—the borders keeping apart narrator and protagonist, author and topic dissolve, exposing the shared features of human lifestyles that go beyond geographical and cultural differences.

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If you say that a wine smells like wild strawberries to you, how can anyone prove that it doesn’t? Before we explain the smelling ritual, and the tasting technique that goes along with it (described in the next section), we want to assure you that (a) you don’t have to apply this procedure to every single wine you drink; (b) you won’t look foolish doing it, at least in the eyes of other wine lovers (we can’t speak for the remaining 90 percent of the human population); and (c) it’s a great trick at parties to avoid talking with someone you don’t like.

Wine is much more complex than other beverages: There’s more going on in a mouthful of wine. For example, most wines have a lot of different (and subtle) flavors, all at the same time, and they give you multiple simultaneous sensations, such as softness and sharpness together. 22 Part I: Getting to Know Wine If you just drink wine by gulping it down the way you do soda, you miss a lot of what you paid for. But if you taste wine, you can discover its nuances. In fact, the more slowly and attentively you taste wine, the more interesting it tastes.

Notice how dark or how pale the wine is, what color it is, and whether the color fades from the center of the wine out toward the edge, where it touches the glass. Also notice whether the wine is cloudy, clear, or brilliant. (Most wines are clear. ) Eventually, you’ll begin to notice patterns, such as deeper color in younger red wines. If you have time, at this point you can also swirl the wine around in your glass (see the following section) and observe the way the wine runs back down the inside of the glass.

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