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.”