Luo Guanzhong’s Comic Novel of the Ming Dynasty in Song Masquerade

The Three SuiThe twenty-chapter novel The Three Sui Quash the Demons’ Revolt, is traditionally attributed to Luo Guanzhong (d. after 1364?), the alleged author of two of China’s most famous and beloved works of fiction, The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and The Water Margin. The Three Sui tells the story of the uprising of adherents of the Maitreya Buddha led by Wang Ze in 1047–1048. Wang Ze was eventually executed and all future heterodox activity outlawed. Paradoxically, The Three Sui treats the rebellion as an occasion for slapstick, baggy-pants humor in which facts are distorted and wildly mixed with fiction.

“Lois Fusek’s annotated translation of this neglected work of traditional Chinese vernacular fiction makes a significant contribution to our understanding and appreciation of that important body of work. Her work is of the very highest order and in draft form has invariably met with an enthusiastic response from students in my courses on Chinese literature at the University of Chicago. There is a wonderful lighthearted insouciance about this text that makes it virtually unique in the history of Chinese fiction, and it should attract not only students of the subject but anyone interested in narratology, the history of fiction, or a good read.” —David T. Roy, professor emeritus of Chinese literature at the University of Chicago and translator of the Chin P’ing Mei (titled The Plum in the Golden Vase)

August 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3406-7 / $49.00 (CLOTH)