High Romance and Envy

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Before Joan Didion, there was Eileen Chang. A slender, dramatic woman with a taste for livid details and feverish colors, Chang combined Didion’s glamor and sensibility with the terrific wit of Evelyn Waugh. She could, with a single phrase, take you hostage. Chinese readers can’t forget her; most Western readers have never met her.

For the Millions, Jamie Fisher profiles Chinese author Eileen Chang. Fisher tracks Chang’s career as both a political and literary figure, with specific attention paid to the way Chang’s writing treats sex, envy and life’s “trivialities.”


Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →