400 short stories: story 312

story: “Sealed Off”

author: Eileen Chang

year: 1944 (English translation 2016)

where: Blacksmith Coffee

note:  Chang’s studies were interrupted in Hong Kong when the Japanese attacked (the same week as Pearl Harbor). Chang returned to Shanghai. All Chang’s stories (to my knowledge) are set in either Hong Kong or Shanghai.

a line: “But,” said Cuiyuan, “a girl from a good family won’t want to be a concubine, will she? And so many legal problems…”

theme(s): Modern love, wartime, anti-romance, occupation, dream

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