The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales

Lan Lin


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Princeton University Press
8 March 2022
ISBN: 9780691214412
240 pages

From the publisher

A delightful collection of modern Chinese tales

The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales brings together forty-two magical Chinese tales, most appearing for the first time in English. These stories have been carefully selected from more than a thousand originally published in the early twentieth century under the pseudonyms Lin Lan and Lady Lin Lan-previously unknown in the West, and now acclaimed as the Brothers Grimm of China.

The birth of the tales began in 1924, when one author, Li Xiaofeng, published a set of literary stories under the Lin Lan pen name, an alias that would eventually be shared by an editorial team. Together, this group gathered fairy tales (tonghua) from rural regions across China. Combining traditional oral Chinese narratives with elements from the West, the selections in this collection represent different themes and genres-from folk legends to comic tales. Characters fall for fairies, experience predestined love, and have love/hate relationships with siblings. Garden snails and snakes transform into cooking girls, and dragon daughters construct houses. An introduction offers historical and social context for understanding the role that the Lin Lan stories played in modern China. Appendixes include information on tale types and biographies of the writers and contributors.

The Dragon Daughter and Other Lin Lan Fairy Tales is a captivating testament to the power of storytelling.