The Red Chamber
Pauline Chen was born in California, and grew up in Stony Brook, New York. After studying classics at Harvard and law at Yale, she completed a doctorate in Chinese literature at Princeton University. Her dissertation focused on the late Tang poets Du Fu, Li He, and Li Shangyin. She has taught Chinese language, literature, and film at the University of Minnesota and Oberlin College. At age thirty-four, after being treated for ovarian cancer, she left academia to pursue writing. She is the author of Peiling and the Chicken-Fried Christmas, a novel for young readers. Her essays on Chinese film have appeared in Cineaste and Film Comment. The Red Chamber is her first book for adults, and has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Polish, and Thai. Pauline lives in Oberlin, Ohio, with her two children.
In eighteenth-century China, the beautiful orphan Daiyu leaves her home in the provinces to seek shelter with her mother’s family in Beijing. At Rongguo Mansion, she is drawn into a world of sumptuous feasts, silken robes, and sparkling jewels—as well as a complex web of secret rivalries and intrigues that threatens to trap her at every turn. When she falls in love with Baoyu, the family’s brilliant, unpredictable heir, she finds the forces of the family and convention arrayed against her, and must risk everything to follow her heart. Based on the epic Dream of the Red Chamber—one of the most famous love stories in Chinese literature—this novel recasts a timeless tale for Western audiences to discover.