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Synopsis

The Chinese-language edition of this modern love story and rich family saga has already gone through more than sixty printings. Winner of the 1980 United Daily Literature Competition, the book was an instant bestseller when first published in Taiwan. The novel captures the intimacy of agricultural life in the midst of an increasingly industrialized society. Suffusing the novel with the spirit of Buddhist teachings and their relevance to her characters' lives, Hsiao Li-hung affectionately evokes the daily existence of an extended family as they experience life's joys and tragedies. At the heart of the story is Zhenguan, a sensitive young woman whose coming of age is influenced by new experiences in the city, the wisdom of her elders, and her strong, unique identity. In Zhenguan's journey of suffering, disillusionment, and -- ultimately -- zenlike triumph, Hsiao Li-hung celebrates the values and traditions that have sustained and nurtured life in Taiwan through the centuries.

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