An Introduction to Yuan Ch’iung-ch’iung and Enshia Li by Tiffany Troy

I am pleased to introduce “Women” by Taiwanese author Yuan Ch’iung-ch’iung, translated from the Chinese by Enshia Li for Tupelo Quarterly. For a group of middle-aged Taiwanese women bound by love and marriage, an unexpected reunion among them resurfaces old jealousies and reopens old wounds. Nothing is as it appears as the intrigue unfolds. The protagonist, Hsiu-chin, cannot help but become enraged as her husband’s ex-lover reappears in her life, for even after two decades, “even after she pulled out that thorn from her heart, a fresh wound ruptured underneath.” “Women” presents a nuanced portrayal of the challenges of marriage, and I am grateful for Enshia Li’s translation.

Yuan Ch’iung-ch’iung has been a prolific author since the 1970s and is highly acclaimed for her short stories, novels, and essays. She has also published poetry under the name Zhu Ling and has written numerous scripts, song lyrics, and criticism.

Yuan’s writings have often been classified as “boudoir literature” [gui xiu wen xue], for her focus on quotidian domestic middle-class life and detailed observations of romance. Her works include Hong Chen Xin Shi [Private Thoughts in the Red Dust, 1981], Zi Ji De Tian Kong [A Sky of One’s Own, 1981], Chun Shui Chuan [Spring Water Boat, 1985], Jin Shen Yuan [This Love, This Life, 1988], Kong Bu Shi Dai [Times of Terror], and Qing Shu [Love Letters series, 2006-7].

Enshia Li is a translator based in California. She graduated from Stanford University in 2022 with a B.A. in English Literature and East Asian Studies.