NOTES OF A CROCODILEBook - 2017
The English-language premiere of Qiu Miaojin's coming-of-age novel about queer teenagers in Taiwan, a cult classic in China and winner of the 1995 China Times Literature Award.
An NYRB Classics Original
Set in the post-martial-law era of late-1980s Taipei, Notes of a Crocodile is a coming-of-age story of queer misfits discovering love, friendship, and artistic affinity while hardly studying at Taiwan’s most prestigious university. Told through the eyes of an anonymous lesbian narrator nicknamed Lazi, this cult classic is a postmodern pastiche of diaries, vignettes, mash notes, aphorisms, exegesis, and satire by an incisive prose stylist and major countercultural figure.
Afflicted by her fatalistic attraction to Shui Ling, an older woman, Lazi turns for support to a circle of friends that includes a rich kid turned criminal and his troubled, self-destructive gay lover, as well as a bored, mischievous overachiever and her alluring slacker artist girlfriend.
Illustrating a process of liberation from the strictures of gender through radical self-inquiry, Notes of a Crocodile is a poignant masterpiece of social defiance by a singular voice in contemporary Chinese literature.
Baker & Taylor
"Set in the post-martial-law era of 1990s Taipei, Notes of a Crocodile depicts the coming-of-age of a group of queer misfits discovering love, friendship, and artistic affinity while hardly studying at Taiwan's most prestigious university. Told through the eyes of an anonymous lesbian narrator nicknamed Lazi, Qiu Miaojin's cult classic novel is a postmodern pastiche of diaries, vignettes, mash notes, aphorisms, exegesis, and satire by an incisive prose stylist and countercultural icon. Afflicted by her fatalistic attraction to Shui Ling, an older woman who is alternately hot and cold toward her, Lazi turns for support to a circle of friends that includes the devil-may-care, rich-kid-turned-criminal Meng Sheng and his troubled, self-destructive gay lover Chu Kuang, as well as the bored, mischievous overachiever Tun Tun and her alluring slacker artist girlfriend Zhi Rou. Bursting with the optimism of newfound liberation and romantic idealism despite corroding innocence, Notes of a Crocodile is a poignant and intimate masterpiece of social defiance by a singular voice in contemporary Chinese literature"--
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
It was a clandestine form of dating—the kind where the person you're going out with doesn't know it's a date. I denied myself, and I denied the fact that she was part of my life, so much so that I denied the dotted line that connected the two of us and our entire relationship to a crime.
For a long time, my hidden shame had made me push everyone away. I'd rejected them before they could reject me. I ran away from close relationships even with people who loved me.
When all is said and done, you and I aren't quite cut from the same cloth. Society still considers you a normal woman. Your love for me was a feminine, maternal love that can just as easily be extended to any man. Basically the only difference between you and other women is that your heart is more open. But me, our relationship left me fundamentally altered. You tore me open and exposed the man inside. That new me has no rightful place within humanity. I don't think you've been cast out. You can still return to that place where I'm no longer allowed.
Zhi Rou took a gulp of beer and puffed on her cigarette. She looked so tough that I had to chuckle. Then she grew solemn. "Lazi, there's something you once said that I've always remembered: 'Only healthy people are capable of being in love. Using love to treat an illness just makes the illness worse.' I realize that's exactly what I did: I used love to fight illness, and it ruined me. I have to change my ways. I can't be like that anymore."
[Zhi Rou said,] "I have a huge existential void, and no one can make me happy. When I'm with a man, I see the beauty of a woman's soul, and I wish I were free all over again. But I can't be with a woman, either, because then I fantasize to death about men's bodies."
AgeAdd Age Suitability
There are no ages for this title yet.
SummaryAdd a Summary
There are no summaries for this title yet.
There are no notices for this title yet.