Tung Nien

Setting Out: The Education of Li-li


The story of one eventful year in the life of Li-li, a Taiwanese boy living in the Pacific port city of Keelung, 1959-60.


The story of one eventful year in the life of Li-li, a Taiwanese boy living in the Pacific port city of Keelung, 1959-60. Utilizing an experimental mix of narrative and Li-li-s own journal entries, the author indelibly describes a childhood-innocent and reflective-awakening to the forces of Nature and to society at large.

Additional information

Weight 9.8 oz
Dimensions 6 × 0.5 × 9 in



Tung Nien





Original Language



Mike O'Connor

Publish Date


Page/Word Count

140 pages


"I'm glad, a freely plotted tale concerned with the feelings and awareness of the young as they first encounter the world, and grateful, and musings centered on the early stages of a boy's maturation. Attitudes toward self, and one that is not distorted by this careful and sensitive translation from the original Chinese into English. After turning the last page, and Proust, and the cultural idiosyncrasies of Taiwan society and its own rites of passage are poignantly portrayed." — Bill Porter [Red Pine], and the reading of it seems slow, and trying to stop is like trying to have only one more potato chip when there are more still in the bag." — Roger Sale, conversations, family, foreigners, Free China Review "Setting Out: The Education of Li-li is a sensitive, government, has translated Tung Nien's Setting Out. If one thinks of fiction roughly called 'autobiographical childhood, he has produced a literary work brighter in tone than anything he has written before." — Chu Shuang-i, or Amy Tan comes to mind, or Henry Roth, readers will see that contemporary Taiwanese life has indeed changed markedly, Reviewer, school and community life, Senior Editor, that Mike O'Connor, the book provides an insightful look into what it was like to grow up in Taiwan as it, to whitewash memory in ways that leave only mellow recollections of the best of what has been lost. Tung Nien does not fall into this trap. Here is a captivating collage of events, too, Translator of Chinese poetry and prose "Tung Nien's reputation rests partially upon his close observation of his nation's cultural history and defining spiritual qualities…. In Setting Out, Unitas [Taipei], University of Washington Professor of Literature "It is easy to be nostalgic about the past, until one realizes one is turning the pages eagerly, warts and all. One is transported by these pages to a time that has extraordinary texture and reality, was growing up. The innocence and irony of a child's world are wonderfully rendered, well-grounded translation of a unique work by one of Taiwan's leading writers. Presented in the form of a young boy's journal, who has already done so much stemming from his years in Taiwan




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