This “gem of a novel . . . gives us a glimpse not only into the Chinese opera world but deep into a woman’s heart” (Lisa See, author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane).
Twenty years ago, in a fit of diva jealousy, Xiao Yanqiu, star of The Moon Opera, violently assaulted her understudy. Spurned by the troupe, she turned to teaching.
Now, a rich cigarette-factory boss has offered to underwrite a restaging of the cursed opera—but only on the condition that Xiao Yanqiu return to the role of Chang’e. So she does, this time believing she has fully become the immortal moon goddess . . .
Set against the drama, intrigue, jealousy, retribution, and redemption of backstage Peking opera, this “tiny, perfect novel [with] distant echoes of All About Eve” is a stunning portrait of women in a world that simultaneously reveres and restricts them (The Times, London).