Border Town

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Border Town

Congwen Shen

Publisher:Harper Perennial

Originally published in 1934, “Border Town” tells the story of Cuicui, a young country girl who is coming of age during a time of national turmoil. The granddaughter of a poor ferryman, Cuicui grows up in Chadong, a small town in China's exotic southwestern frontier, where she is sheltered from the warlord fighting that was prevalent in China in the 1920s. Like any teenager, Cuicui dreams of romance and finding true love. She's caught up in the spell of the local custom of nighttime serenades, but she is also haunted by her grandfather's aging and imminent death. Both Cuicui and her grandfather know that she must find a husband who will take care of her once her grandfather is gone. Cuicui is pursued by two brothers - strong and brusque Tianbao, whose name means 'Heaven-protected', and his younger brother Nuosong ('Sent by the Nuo Gods') who is known for the fineness of his face and voice. Not wholly bound by the dictates of arranged marriage, Cuicui is prepared to make her choice based on love, but she is confounded by fate and her grandfather, who wishes for her to mature on her own.

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