This Day In History: Lao She is Born

This Day in History: Lao She is Born

115 years ago on this day in Beijing Chinese author and playwright Lao She was born. In honor of his contribution to Chinese literature, here’s a quick introduction to his life, as well as several of his titles we offer.

Having written famous works like Teahouse and Rickshaw Boy, Lao She’s writing both evinces his incredible talent for capturing Beijing dialect, as well as vividly portrays life in Republican China. Today Lao She ranks  alongside Lu Xun as one of China’s most acclaimed and respected authors. (Fun fact: he also authored what is considered to be the first important work of Chinese science fiction, Cat Country.)

At China Books we have several popular titles written by Lao She, several of which are bilingual versions ideal for intermediate or advanced language learners.

Teahouse: Written in 1954, this book stands as one of the most critically acclaimed plays in Modern Chinese literature. Lao She uses owner Wang Life’s teahouse to paint a vivid portrait of life during the first half of the 20th century in the Chinese capital of Beijing. Lao She presciently demonstrates the great human cost of political change at that time and provides incredible insight into the tumult that eventually led to the establishment of the People’s Republic of China.

We offer two versions of Teahouse. The first, from our China Books imprint, is beautifully bound and runs 120 pages. The second, a bilingual English and Chinese version published by Foreign Language Press, runs 240 pages.

 p-11158-TEAHOUCamel Xiangzi: Perhaps Lao She’s most famous work with the exception of Teahouse, this book chronicles the misfortune of a young rickshaw-puller by the name of Xiangzi. Xiangzi arrives in Beijing hoping to find wealth, but is ultimately met with a series of misfortunes. An earlier English translation was a bestseller in the US in 1940’s. However, the ending was in fact changed so that it would appeal more to American audiences expecting Xiangzi to achieve his dreams.  Camel Xiangzi is 530 pages long and features the original Chinese and English translation on facing pages.


Mr. Ma and Son: A delightful satire, this book chronicles the misadventures of Mr. Ma and his son as they run a curio shop in London during the 1920s. Far from their native Peking, the two struggle to navigate the social conventions of a foreign country.  The book is 590 pages long and like Camel Xiangzi contains the original Chinese as well as the English translation.


If you have any questions about the books or are interested in getting your hands on a title by Lao She you don’t see here feel free to give us a call at 530-872-7076 or get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or Google+.

Sinomedia International Group
China Books & Long River Press Imprints
Tel: 650-872-7076*316 / Fax: 650-872-7808
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