Market Street: A Chinese Woman in Harbin by Xiao Wong
Rating: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
Challenge: A-Z (author)
Review: This short book is a memoir of about 2 years in the author's life, told in short vignettes. The style of writing and the translation are easy to read, but the story is hard to follow. The chapters are short and choppy and intervening events tend to be left out. For example, the first several chapters are all about how the author and her lover are so poor they can't afford food or wood to heat their apartment with. A few chapters later, however, they seem to have enough money to live without scrimping. It is quite unclear how this change in fortune came about. Similarly, in the latter chapters, a book is mentioned which is referred to as "our book." The book seems to be in the final stages of publication, but the reader has no idea what the book is about (although the contents seem to be subversive since they feel as though the Japanese police might show up to arrest them at any moment). All in all then, this is a sort of confusing read.