This book presents Chinese short-short stories in English and Chinese, integrating language learning with cultural studies for intermediate to advanced learners of Mandarin Chinese and students of contemporary Chinese literature. Each chapter begins with a critical introduction, followed by two or more stories in parallel Chinese and English texts; each story is followed by a vocabulary list, discussion questions, and a biography of the author.
The chapters are organized around central concepts in Chinese culture such as li (ritual), ren (benevolence), mianzi (face/prestige), being filial, and the dynamics of yin and yang, as well as the themes of governance, identity, love, marriage, and change. The stories selected are short-shorts by important contemporary writers ranging from the most literary to everyday voices. Specifically designed for use in upper-level Chinese language courses, Contemporary Chinese Short-Short Stories: A Parallel Text offers students a window onto China today and pathways to its traditions and past as they gain language competence and critical cultural skills.