“The Female Spirit,” Diane Goodman’s review of MĀNOA special issue Red Peonies: Two Novellas of China (Vol. 28, Issue 2) appears in the May/June 2017 issue of the American Book Review.
Red Peonies features two novellas, “The Woman Liu” and “The Woman Yang” by Chinese writer Zhang Yihe. The novellas were translated by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping. Goodman writes:
The Woman Liu and The Woman Yang are compelling examinations of love, fear, sacrifice and survival, betrayal, compassion, manipulation, friendship, and trust and sometimes even a kind of redemption. But maybe most of all, Red Peonies: Two Novellas of China are a powerful testimony to the fortitude of the female spirit.