Asian studies in Lithuania
Original language: Chinese
Translated from: English
Authors: Hong Ying
Translated by: Vaskelaitė, Ramunė
Full translated source bibliographical description:

Hong Ying. K: the Art of Love. London: Penguin Books, 2011

ISBN: 978-609-01-0281-7
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2012
Publisher: Alma Littera

“K: the art of love” is a romantic and a bit sad novel about love between married Chinese woman and young Englishman. Julian Bell – young intellectual comes to china to teach English. He collects women: for every lover he gives a letter from the alphabet. In China Julian meets Lin Cheng – dean’s Cheng wife. Lin becomes the lover of a young Englishman and he notes her as letter K, but this time it’s not just a letter or one-time adventure – it’s love. It seems all very nice, love links these two people, but life is not as easy as one would like. Lin is married and Julian perhaps realizes too late that love should be cherished. Even when he loves Lin so much, he looks to her and all Chinese people like a racist.

The novel shows the twentieth century, 4th decade in China, its intellectual life so one of the reasons why this story is interesting is because you can see the other culture, its beauty and subtleties. Inside the book there are a lot of erotic scenes portraits which can give us the picture of what exactly is the Chinese philosophy of sex. In 2002, the book was banned in China. Also story is based on real facts. I recommend it to anyone who wants to know something more about different view of love.

Hong Ying was born in China on September 21, 1962. She began to write at eighteen, leaving home shortly afterwards to spend the next ten years moving around China, exploring her voice as a writer via poems and short stories. After brief periods of study at the Lu Xun Academy in Beijing and Shanghai’s Fudan University, Hong Ying moved to London in 1991 where she settled as a writer. She returned to Beijing in 2000. Best known in English for the novels “K: the Art of Love”, “Summer of Betrayal”, “Peacock Cries”, and her autobiography “Daughter of the River”. Hong Ying has been published in twenty languages and has appeared on the bestseller lists of numerous countries. She won the Prize of Rome for “K: the Art of Love” in 2005 and many of her books have been or are now in the process of being turned into television series and films.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU