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A Single Swallow by [Zhang Ling, Shelly Bryant]
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A Single Swallow Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 9,426 ratings

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Length: 299 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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From the Editor

I’ve read many World War II novels, but A Single Swallow, by Zhang Ling, is the first I’ve read that is set in China and focuses on the Japanese invasion from a Chinese point of view. Starting in present day, three men—two American and one Chinese—reminisce about life in the rural village they were all stationed in during the war. But the centripetal force of their stories is not the special missions or the battles they fought, or even the death of their friends and fellow soldiers—it’s the brushes they had with a beautiful woman named Ah Yan, whose name means “Swallow” in Chinese.

Although we come to know Ah Yan only through the memories of the three men, she is the most important character in the book and an unforgettable one—a complex portrait of the noblest kind of human, able to discover a courage and resilience to overcome the unimaginable cruelties of war in such a way that renders her incorruptible.

Ah Yan’s impenetrable humanity touched each of the men in different ways, and so they each know and understand her differently. But the common thread that binds them is that it was the beauty of her spirit and the love they felt for her during that horrific time that helped each of them to survive, a reminder of what’s worth living for.

A Single Swallow is about many things that happened in that war—Americans fighting far from home, the poverty and suffering of the local Chinese population, the horror of combat, the power of redemption. But most of all, it is one hell of a love story.

- Liza Darnton, Editor

Product description

Review

"[A] unique premise of ghostly rendezvous among soldiers, combined with first loves for all three men...Clever use of newspaper accounts, military reports, and letters to loved ones advance the plot and complement the dialogue effectively and interestingly...superb...highly recommended." --Historical Novel Society

"I am in awe of Zhang Ling's literary talent. Truly extraordinary. In her stories, readers have the chance to explore and gain a great understanding of not only the Chinese mind-set but also the heart and soul." --Anchee Min, bestselling author of Red Azalea

"Few writers could bring a story about China and other nations together as seamlessly as Zhang Ling. I would suggest it is her merit as an author, and it is the value of her novels." --Mo Yan, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

"[Zhang Ling] tackles a work of fiction as if it were fact...with a profound respect for historical truth as it impacts the real world, she successfully creates characters and stories that are both vivid and moving." --Shenzhen and Hong Kong Book Review

"Zhang Ling's concern for war and disaster has remained constant throughout the years as she delves deeply into human strength and tenacity in the face of extremely adverse situations." --Beijing News Book Review Weekly

"[In this novel] we see not only the cruelty of war but also humans wrestling with fate...the novel blends the harsh reality of war seamlessly into the daily lives of the common people, weaving human destiny into the course of the war...A Single Swallow puts the novelist's ability and talent on full display." --Shanghai Wenhui Daily

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Zhang Ling is the award-winning author of nine novels and numerous collections of novellas and short stories. Born in China, she moved to Canada in 1986. In the mid-1990s, she began to write and publish fiction in Chinese while working as a clinical audiologist. Since then she has won the Chinese Media Literature Award for Author of the Year, the Grand Prize of Overseas Chinese Literary Award, and Taiwan's Open Book Award. Among Zhang Ling's work are Gold Mountain Blues and Aftershock, adapted into China's first IMAX movie with unprecedented box-office success.

--This text refers to the paperback edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07VDFNJLZ
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Amazon Crossing (1 October 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 4024 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 299 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 9,426 ratings

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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9,425 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

DisneyDenizen
5.0 out of 5 stars AN EXTREMELY WELL WRITTEN AND ORIGINAL WORK OF LITERARY FICTION
Reviewed in the United States on 2 September 2020
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john d.
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise but disappointing.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 6 November 2020
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4 people found this helpful
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critical friend
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully crafted story of a remarkable woman told through 3 ghosts of men
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 September 2020
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5 people found this helpful
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Lance Mitchell
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging story with slightly disappointing presentation
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 October 2020
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RugratsRUs
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 September 2020
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