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The Songs of the South

An Anthology of Ancient Chinese Poems by Qu Yuan and Other Poets

Introduction by David Hawkes
Translated by David Hawkes
Notes by David Hawkes
Paperback
$18.00 US
5.1"W x 7.8"H x 0.8"D   | 9 oz | 56 per carton
On sale Jan 31, 2012 | 352 Pages | 978-0-14-044375-2
Masterworks of early Chinese poetry

Dating from the second century AD, this anthology is the second- oldest collection of Chinese poems in existence. The poems, originating from the state of Chu and rooted in Shamanism, are grouped under seventeen titles and contain all that we know of Chinese poetry's ancient beginnings. The earliest poems were composed in the fourth century BC, and almost half of them are traditionally ascribed to Qu Yuan. In his introduction to this edition, David Hawkes provides a fascinating discussion of the history of these poems and their context, styles, and themes.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
"The Songs of the South is cause for celebration. There is simply no substitute. The text is fundamental to the Chinese tradition, and Hawkes’s introduction itself is a work of wonder. It should be kept in print in perpetuity." — Philip Kafalas, Associate Professor of Chinese, Georgetown University
ALEXANDER MACLEOD was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of stories, Light Lifting, was a national bestseller, won an Atlantic Book Award, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, and the Commonwealth Book Prize. His most recent book of fiction, Animal Person, won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, CBC Books, and the Globe and Mail, and includes stories that were featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2019, he won an O. Henry Award for his story “Lagomorph.” MacLeod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill University. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut book of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2021 Trillium Book Award, and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN America Open Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Award, and one of Time's Must-Read Books of 2020. Thammavongsa is also the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and, most recently, Cluster. Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, she was raised and educated in Toronto, where she is at work on her first novel. View titles by Various

About

Masterworks of early Chinese poetry

Dating from the second century AD, this anthology is the second- oldest collection of Chinese poems in existence. The poems, originating from the state of Chu and rooted in Shamanism, are grouped under seventeen titles and contain all that we know of Chinese poetry's ancient beginnings. The earliest poems were composed in the fourth century BC, and almost half of them are traditionally ascribed to Qu Yuan. In his introduction to this edition, David Hawkes provides a fascinating discussion of the history of these poems and their context, styles, and themes.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Praise

"The Songs of the South is cause for celebration. There is simply no substitute. The text is fundamental to the Chinese tradition, and Hawkes’s introduction itself is a work of wonder. It should be kept in print in perpetuity." — Philip Kafalas, Associate Professor of Chinese, Georgetown University

Author

ALEXANDER MACLEOD was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His first collection of stories, Light Lifting, was a national bestseller, won an Atlantic Book Award, and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, and the Commonwealth Book Prize. His most recent book of fiction, Animal Person, won the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, was named a Best Book of the Year by The New Yorker, CBC Books, and the Globe and Mail, and includes stories that were featured in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 2019, he won an O. Henry Award for his story “Lagomorph.” MacLeod holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill University. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

SOUVANKHAM THAMMAVONGSA's fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Ploughshares, Best American Non-Required Reading, The Journey Prize Stories, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. Her debut book of fiction, How to Pronounce Knife, won the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2021 Trillium Book Award, and was named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN America Open Book Award, the Danuta Gleed Award, and one of Time's Must-Read Books of 2020. Thammavongsa is also the author of four poetry books: Light, winner of the Trillium Book Award for Poetry; Found; Small Arguments, winner of the ReLit Award; and, most recently, Cluster. Born in the Lao refugee camp in Nong Khai, Thailand, she was raised and educated in Toronto, where she is at work on her first novel. View titles by Various

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