Tang Xianzu (1550–1616) is acclaimed as the `Shakespeare of the East' and widely regarded as China’s greatest playwright, yet his work has not reached Western readers in its entirety.
The Complete Dramatic Works of Tang Xianzu represents a literary landmark: this is the first English-language collection of the revered dramatist’s most important works to be made available outside China.
Translated over two decades, the collection showcases the playwright’s major pieces, including The Purple Flute, The Purple Hairpins, The Nanke Dream, The Handan Dream - and The Peony Pavilion.
The Peony Pavilion is the playwright’s most celebrated work and has drawn comparisons to Homer’s Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Dante’s Divine Comedy and John Milton’s Paradise Lost.
Known for his lyrical use of metaphor, Tang Xianzu weaves the beauty of nature with the tragedy of emotion. His plays offer an extensive exploration of love, and remain at the heart of Chinese culture. This important collection represents an opportunity for a wider audience to discover the profound and poetic works of this classic playwright.