Set on the eve of the Sino-Japanese war, Fortress Besieged recounts the exuberant misadventures of the hapless hero Fang Hung-chien, who after aimlessly studying in Europe at his family's expense returns to Shanghai armed with a bogus degree from a fake university. On the liner back, Fang's life becomes deeply entangled with those of two Chinese beauties - while when he does finally make it home, he obtains a teaching post at a newly established university, encounters effete pseudo-intellectuals, and falls into a marriage of disastrous proportions. A glorious tale of love, marriage, war, calamity, disillusionment and hope, this is one of the greatest Chinese novels: combining Eastern philosophy, Western traditions, adventure, tragicomedy and satire to create a unique feast of delights.
Jonathan D. Spence, Sterling Professor of History at Yale University, is the award-winning author of a remarkable body of work on Chinese culture and history, including THE SEARCH FOR MODERN CHINA, GOD'S CHINESE SON and THE CHAN'S GREAT CONTINENT.
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