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Quarterlife Crisis

INT. APARTMENT KITCHEN – 9AM

Alexis grabs her purse from the chair and puts it on. Alexis adjusts her hair in the mirror on the fridge. She grabs a diet coke, cracking it open and kicking it back with great satisfaction. We see her college diploma, framed on the wall reading 2019 graduation date. She grabs her keys. Her mismatched socked feet match themselves with a couple of patent black slip-on. As she grabs the door handle, she notices a pair of bright red high heels in the corner of the room. 

EXT. APARTMENT PAVILLION – 9AM

You hear her feet more than you see them. The click and open of the door and the slam as it closes are much louder than the blackbirds loitering. The pavilion is beautiful with tall overhands and short and tall but always skinny vines leading up to the sky. A small water fountain bubbled in the center.

TITLE QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS text follows Alexis as she crosses from the left side of the screen to the right. The bubbling of the main fountain and birds in the background.

EXT. OUTSIDE OF APARTMENT BUILDING – 9AM

Alexis’s phone rings and Alexis moves around her diet coke to get to the ringing and glowing thing in her purse, but as she has her entire left forearm bandaged, her movement is limited. She drops her keys in her left pocket and fishes out her phone. 

Hey what’s up… yep, yep, I’m driving, 5 min away. .. No, yeah I am not still at my apartment.. Is there parking at this thing? Oh Okay. I said OH OKAY. See yah.

Hearing a soft tinkle she looks down and sees that a quarter from her purse had landed perfectly on its side at her feet. 

She leans down to inspect closer.

It wobbles a bit, setting Alexis’s teeth forward, but it doesn’t lose its delicate one/sixteenth of a balance. Still, on its side, the quarter begins to roll away. 

Without hesitation. Alexis walks forward and follows it into the neighborhood, her friend she had just hung up on and the destination that she was going to be late to, completely forgotten. 

Dogs barking, a biker swerves to avoid hitting Alexis on the intersection of Park Street and Indiana Street. 

Alexis walks out into the traffic on Dunlavy Street and Indiana street, where a car stops short of hitting her. Just beyond the road and a little past the bend, The quarter rolls over the hill and into the gutter. 

Having caught up with it, she picks the quarter up, brushing off the dirt. She looks up from her quarter and sees a mural of a quarter on the wall of the convenience store.

She looks at her quarter, and then she looks at the mural, and the story has come full circle, she smiles.

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Crucifix

I

A young receptionist yawned as the phone rang behind her. The receiver sat black and blocky. She released it and put it up to her ear with a soft click. Its wire tangle of tight spirals clacked on the desk. 

“This is the Milwaukee Art Museum. My name is Natalie Beck. How can I help you?” 

“***9**wnk…” 

“I’m sorry, one second, I can’t understand you.” Natalie fiddled with the wires.

“Hello? When do you close?”

“Hello?”

“Hello, when do you close?” The voice repeated.

“9 PM.” 

“What time is it now?”

“8:30 PM.”

“Thank you.”

The receiver sent out the dial tone. She gazed at it and shrugged. “They hung up.” She replaced it and turned to her computer. 

Her cell phone buzzed. Her fingers flew to its off button, but she couldn’t resist a glance at her phone screen.

It was her dad sending her photos of their boat outing last week. She stashed it in her purse. As she plopped it on the desk, a handle broke. She wrinkled her nose at the shabby thing and wondered what time H&M opened the next day—twirling and untwirling the now detached strap of her purse around her fingers.

An icon popped up on her computer. Tossing the strap in the garbage, she scrolled the mouse wheel up and down and pressed print. She looked over the document, a dialog box appeared. Refill PrintCartiage2. 

The door opened. 

A man with a medical facemask, hat, and sunglasses stepped over the threshold. He took long strides. He placed his hands on the desk and cleared his throat.

 Natalie looked up at him and flashed him a smile. “Hello sir, how are you doing today?”

“One ticket, please.”

“Sure. I would like to inform you. The museum is closing in about nine minutes.” Natalie smiled. 

“I am aware.”

“The security guards will give you the heads up and will close up after you.”

“Thank you.”

 With a satisfying rip, she released it from the black printer. “Here you are,” She drew back a bit. A Clorox wipe canister sat next to her. 

He nodded and took his ticket. Saying nothing, he bent the cardstock. Then he turned to stalk off into the museum. 

She threw on her cardigan to guard against the early spring air. It was the nicest one her mother had given her last Christmas, a soft pink cashmere. Humming a melody by the Supremes and with a small spring, she stood from her chair. Double-checking over her workstation, she threw on her beanie and gripped her purse to her chest. 

The stars sparkled above the lake as she walked away. Admiring the wings which stretched out before Lake Michigan like the building was a bird ready to take flight. A fierce wind blew her hair into her face. Shaking her eyes free, she dove into her car. 

II

Natalie rolled up to her house. Turning out the headlights, she gathered her things. She made quick work of her walkway and unlocked her apartment door. Sighing in relief, she pried her shoes off, throwing them into a random corner of the room with a satisfactory clatter. Going right to the kitchen, she washed her hands and opened a La Croix with a swift crack. Kicking back the drink, she closed her eyes. 

She flicked the lights onto their dim setting and sat down, tucking her legs underneath her. The Tv turned onto a local news program detailing the rise of small-scale boaters in Milwaukee county. Her eyes drooped.

Her phone rattled and lit on the table. She sat up.

 Caller ID: John Walter. She rolled her eyes but accepted the call. Her hair kept falling in the way and she pushed it back as she brought the phone up to her ear.

“Hello?”

“Hello, Natalie?”

“Mr. Walter, What can I do for you?” She pushed back another stubborn strand of hair.

“Have you left work yet?

“I just got home.”

“Oh, I see. I hate to ask you this. I know it’s already 9:00. I left my ID at the art museum. I’m already at the airport. Would you go back and get it for me?”

“Sir, forgive me for the asking, but could I pick them up on Monday? It’s really out of my way.”

“That’s a No-go. I need to have them, and right now. I’m counting on you,”

“Alright, I’ll pick them up for you.” Natalie rubbed her eyes.

“Get them from the safe. The code is 900845. I owe you big time for this.”

Natalie rolled her eyes and tapped her foot. “Don’t worry about it,” what an asshole.

“Okay, so the plan is, go back to the Art Museum, get my ID from the safe, and then drop it off at my front door, then my wife will take my ID and do the last leg.”

“Why can’t your wife get the ID?” unbelievable.

“I’ll give you overtime?”

“Time and a half?”

“And I’ll buy you lunches for a month when I get back.”

“Yeah, I’m leaving now, no problem,” Natalie checked the clock. It was half-past nine. It was also dark out.

“You are a-maz-ing, Natalie! I owe you big time.”

“Yep, I’ll text you when I’ve finished,”

“Bye,” She hung up. A gust of air blew out from her mouth, a tortured sigh. Ignoring her work shoes, she pulls on a pair of ratty sneakers. Her keys cooled her hand as she shut and locked the door behind her.

III

 Richard Graham cleaned a crucifix with a small brush. The crucifix glittered under the fluorescent lights of the museum’s archives. It was made of solid gold and brass. There were three semi-precious stones on each of the four ends. Or at least there was. Out of the 12, there were only five stones left. The rest of them were missing.

Richard had steady hands trained by almost a decade of working with fine antiquities. His name tag at his chest read Historian.

The ceiling soared high and clear above him. Its magnificent arches were cradled like he was sitting as the yolk in an egg. Sheets of paper stacked neat and color-coordinated surrounded him like small skyscrapers.

Richard looked at the empty inlays where rubies and sapphires had once lived. He imagined where the stones were now. Perhaps they were in the hands of thieves or buried under the debris of a disaster. 

What rivers it might have crossed since 119AD. What tragedy must affect a human’s mind to commit to ignorance and defile a priceless work of art.

He pushed up the glasses on his face. Despite the long hours, his research notes were almost complete. His Ph.D. candidacy paper was perfected, save for a few gems. Chuckling to himself, he hefted the cross up to eye level. A dark figure reflected in the shiny surface of the cross and blocked the light from the hallway. Richard turned his head, the corners of vision registering a person.

“Put your hands up.” A voice said behind him.

“Don’t look at me. Look at the floor,” The voice said.

  “I’m putting my hands up now,” Richard pushed down a blast of fear. There was the door. Get to it now. It’s just right there. Not far at all. 

“Don’t look at me. Look at the ground.” The man said, and Richard’s blood went cold. A steel click devoured all other sounds in the room. A drip of cold sweat descended his back.

“Listen, if you want my wallet. You don’t have to do this.”

“Give me the crucifix,”

“The crucifix? What?”

Both of them turned toward a short slam of a door, a gasp, and the sound of objects clattering.

IV

Natalie pulled into the parking lot, leaving her car directly in front as she ran inside, now in sneakers. The light switches had small led lights which reacted to her movement. The lights turned on automatically as she walked through the tall building, past the galleries. She was using the pads of her fingers to trace around the walls. Adjusting her air pods, she took one out. The wind whistled across into the lake and went up the walkway to the art museum. 

“It’s not supposed to be this dark inside of the museum yet,” Natalie said to herself. Her iPhone buzzed as she lit her flashlight app and checked the time. 9:48 PM. 

Ducking to John’s office, she removed a painting from the wall with great care. There was the safe, which revealed itself, just as he had said. Natalie rechecked the time, 9:50 PM. She opened the safe.

A manilla folder sat with John’s ID underneath a handgun and a stack of cash. The handgun was sleek and deadly-looking.

Clearing her throat, she took out her AirPods and placed them on the desk behind her. The cash rustled against Natalie’s hands as she flipped through them. She cleared her throat and put them back down where she found them. Nudging the gun off of the folder with her knuckle, with agonizing slowness, she released the folder from its trapped state. 

The manilla folder yawned open in her hands, and Natalie accepted the offering of ID. Working around the damaged strap, and almost dropping its sleek faux leather, she opened the mouth of her purse. 

Music echoed in her AirPods in her ears as she replaced the painting. Pushing on the unlocked door, she shrugs it forward. It clicks into place. Secure, finally, now she could go home. She texted Mrs. Walters. She was on her way.

Taking a shortcut back to her car, Natalie goes back in and heads to the archives. A muffled noise echoed up the hallway. She took out her AirPods. There was the sound of voices from beyond. The words were still indistinguishable. 

“Hello?” Natalie whispers, her heart pounding. Her eyes were glued to the door handle, which was slightly ajar. She looks into the archives. The door slammed open with more force than she had intended. 

A handgun. Two men. The man she had sold a ticket to pointed a gun at Richard, the resident Ph.D. candidate. They looked at her. Their eyebrows drew up.

Natalie gasped and dropped her purse onto the ground, her phone and the contents of her purse spilled out of it toward the man with the gun. She trembled. 

The man glared at her for a split second and then turned his hand toward her.

Richard took his chance. Leaping at the man, he wrestled with him for the gun. Their limbs tangled, and the nose of the weapon. Her tilted up. Richard bared his teeth, and a wild look illuminated his eyes. 

Natalie looked on in horror, fear coursing through her veins. What do I do? She dove for her phone. Her palms ached as she gathered her purse. Getting back on her feet, she looked up. 

He kicked out and shoved a cloth-covered box toward her. It glided across the floor like a ballerina in the Nutcracker. Natalie stopped its trajectory.

“Take the crucifix!” Richard shouted at her.

“Get- upfh,” The shooter mumbled, clawing at Richard.

“What?” Natalie asked.

“Take the crucifix!” Richard shouted again. Natalie paled and clumsily grabbed it and the soft bed of cotton padding surrounding it. She clutched it and her purse like a newborn infant in her arms and ran for the exit. 

The gun popped. Natalie’s blood curdled as Richard’s scream tore the air. Her breath caught in her throat.

V

She stumbled and kept running. Navigating the tight stairwells of the parking garage, Natalie spots her car. It’s the only one in the lot. Digging through her purse, she clicks her keys, and the car snorts in response. 

The door slammed shut, and Natalie had to use two hands to put the key in the ignition, the way her hands trembled. The parking garage opened out into an empty intersection. There are five different ways,  and she drives south. Her hands fumble her phone—moonlight streams in through the windows.

“This is 911. What’s your emergency?”

The road lifted from the ground. Orange steel beams framed her eyes and over the Hoan bridge. Behind her, a sleek car tailed her closely. Pressing on the gas, she glanced at the car behind her and her dash. 

“Hello, my name is Natalie Beck, and there is someone following me in my car. I was at the Milwaukee Art Museum,”

“Where are you?”

“I’m on the Hoan bridge,” Natalie said. The car behind her bumped her, and her phone dropped from her hand. They were the only cars in the middle of the bridge.

On Natalie’s left, there was the open lake water. To her right, there were covered mounds of some industrial facility. She rubbed her neck, a sharp pain shot through her back. 

She screamed in frustration. “I just want to go back home!” Her foot pressed the gas pedal against the floor. Slowing down, she turned out from the bridge. Her eyebrows knit together as she turned and felt the left side of the car lift. The wheels bounced as they met earth again. With a drift and a screech, the car answered her sudden stomp on the brake. Before her, a gravel parking lot bordered a pier. A yellow sign and locked chain-link fence separated her from a marina of boats which shimmered in the light of the full moon.

The sleek black car pulled up. Pulling on the handle, she got out of her car. She gathered the gold cross, tied it into her purse, and climbed the fence. Dropping down onto the other side, she ran down the pier, her steps echoing on the tin material below her. The pier pitched and moved. But, her feet were sure, and she jumped onto the familiar-looking small boat. 

She searched for the keys in the boot of the first boat. No luck. She jumped out and tried another boat for its keys. No luck. The man was getting closer to her. She could hear his footsteps crunch on the gravel before the pier. She dove into the last boat and felt for the keys. Success. 

She entered the key into the lock and started the roaring engine. It spluttered, angry at being woken up and forced to work so late in the night. She untied the boat from its spot and angled the fast-moving speedboat into the lake. He stared at her, shouting obscenities. The full moon above revealed the fervor of his anger in the form of clouds of spittle and eyes bulging and nearly white. She sailed into dark lake Michigan. The wind pushed her hair around her face. She tucked the stray strands behind her ear. The echoing sound of her assailant grew softer and softer as she grew further from the shore.

VI

She goes out past the lighthouse. Standing, she shouts at another boat sailing by. It’s a bright spotlight trained on her.

“Are you Natalie Beck?”

“Yes,”

“We are the coast guard. Please allow us to invite you onto our ship for a chat.”

“Okay,” Natalie Beck said. A ladder bounced against the side of the Coast Guard’s boat. She sat on the ship wrapped in a blanket, and between sips of chamomile, she recounted the story.

“While we found tire tracks at the marina, we did not find any men around with that description.”

“Oh. So he’s still out there?”

“Yes.”

“Ma’am, I hope you understand, but you’ll have to come down to the station with us.”

“I’ll come with you.”

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The Book of Koli Review

As a work of science fiction, worldbuilding is the most significant element and the most enjoyable in The Book of Koli. M.R. Carey’s The Book of Koli is marvelous, one of those science fiction books which did not feel like there was an author, only the character. You are so completely immersed in the world, you become as a part of it as any of the characters which populate the book. You stand among them. The themes explored technology, power, and coming of age in a post-apocalyptic world where the tree is carnivorous.

But it’s not so much about the Trees as Koli’s life in his village or the Trees, it’s how society has formed and adapted around their knowledge. Ramparts are the military and police force of the village where you are ‘chosen’ by a piece of old technology.

Koli’s realization of the truth of his world and his place in it make you want to read more and more. After reading the first one, I cannot wait to get my hands on the second one of this trilogy.

See Clare McCullough’s short story, “The Treasure Notebook”

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Invisible Prison

In “Hut on the Mountain” by Can Xue we see an experimental story where there is no discernable plot, complex family relationships, and a crisis of identity all rooted in a historical allegory. “The term avant-garde refers to a progressive, cutting-edge movement in which new and often surprising ideas in art, literature, and other areas are developed.” (Caffrey) Can Xue falls into this category with ease with this experimental short story. Avant-garde by definition is iconoclastic, meaning it doesn’t fall into traditional story telling modes or expression. She uses a cutting Franz Kafka-influenced darkness and absurdity to tell her revealing nightmarish tales. In “Hut on the Mountain” Can Xue explores the plight of individuality within conformist context of Chinese society, especially during the Cultural Revolution.

Like Kafka, she doesn’t utilize any cohesive plot in this nightmarish world, and since there is no logical sequence of events, nothing makes sense. But, when viewed in the context of history it becomes clearer. This story is tethered to a significant socio-cultural event, the brutality of the Chinese Cultural revolution that officially occurred from 1966-1979. The cultural revolution was a time of almost civil-war like violence, torture, execution, and re-location of anyone who had dissident views from Mao’s “treasures”. Including the author’s family who was sent away from their home to live in a hut near a labor camp (Raschke). Mao’s little red book as it was often referred to taught that the destruction of the old was necessary. During this time, adherence to Maoist thought was paramount and in fact it was crucial for survival during this time. Anything that was regarded as old, often regarded succinctly as the “Four Olds,” meaning the vestiges of imperialism and feudalism, were to be destroyed.  Old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits were sought out by the military student group called the Red Guard. During this time, paranoia was rampant since anyone could report you and have dire consequences befall you. There was a culture of snitching on each other, regardless of relation. Old values such filial piety was given up in favor of the revolution. Everyone in Xue’s story is suspicious of each other, ready to give each other up.

Can Xue utilizes a stream-of-consciousness first person narration. This style of narration she wields with vigor, trapping us in the narrator’s limited point of view and making us subject to her rambling interior monologues. For her purposes this is particularly effective to explain the irrationality of the narrator’s mind. Both modern and illogical; inexplicable sights and sounds and all interactions are filtered through the first person. In fact, the narrator’s experiences are entirely isolated from her family in the story. It is that no one believes her or they ignore her completely. They are not experiencing at all what she is experiencing. “There’s something wrong with everyone’s ears” (383) This affect creates tension and a barrier between the narrator’s individual vision and the communal one of her family. The communal vision is used to discount the narrator’s own personal thoughts since she is the only one who sees and hears the events happening, and is completely ignored. Can Xue’s usage of this narration style creates a very subjective storyline. The fact that the entire story takes place in and around this hut on the mountain locks the reader into a social context, forcing her to interact with her suspicious family until the end. Compounding the use of setting and point of perspective juxtaposes the opposing sides of self and society. It is a monologue where a dichotomy appears between the “them” in this case the narrator’s family and the “us” of course referring the narrator.

Placed within cultural and personal context events of Hut on the Mountain takes on a darker meaning. Persecution of the individual is hard to escape, and the reader feels oppressed by the conditions and tone of the story that take place. A concrete description of madness starts to take on more form, “When my eyes became adapted to the darkness inside, they’d hidden themselves-laughing in their hiding places” (384). Individuality becomes a cage that Can Xue locks the reader in, never being allowed to glimpse anything from the outside. When the narrator does go outside it is described as so bright and so hot that she cannot see or hear anything expect for what she describes as “White pebbles glowing with flames” (386).

Her Mother represents the extreme views of the cultural revolution. The Mother and the narrator have a lot of contention over the narrator’s obsession of tending to her drawers. “‘Huh, you’ll never get done with those drawers’ said Mother, forcing a smile. ‘Not in your lifetime’” Drawers by definition store and organize materials for use. When the narrator is told that her desk drawers were sorted, and she finds missing papers, she gets very upset. Clearly this is something very dear to her since she keeps going back to it. I believe that the desk drawers symbolize her mind, imagination, and largely her private thoughts. By interfering with her drawers, her family is attempting to purge daughter of her private thoughts by going through her drawers, taking things out and reorganizing them.

But the Mother not only has influence on the narrator, but also holds sway over her father who symbolizes the intellectuals during the cultural revolution, “‘In fact, no scissors have ever fallen into the well. Your mother says positively that I’ve made a mistake’” Her Father who is obsessed with those pair of scissors tells the story of how he would lie away at night thinking of the scissors rusting at the bottom of the well. As a result of his obsession his hair on his left temple was turning gray. The father is an example of an older intellectual during the cultural revolution. The scissors were his old values, and when he tried to go back to the well to fish them out he tells the story of how his hands lost their grip and so the bucket fell to the bottom of the well and shattered into pieces. Everything that he had once held tightly in his grasp were now rusting at the bottom of a deep well. His wife consistently tells him to forget about it but he grows older and grieves persistently without the pair of scissors by his side.

Although not mentioned as much as the narrator’s parents, the little sister seems to be very blunt with her words, “Everything has its own cause from way back. Everything.” (385) This seems to be the only attempt at rationalization and explanation in the entire book. It hints at the history and paths that had brought the family together to be at this point. The two sides, narrator and family are mutually suspicious but linked together in relationship. The dominating forces of reality are internalized by the family, resulting in a nightmare of which had perhaps even inevitable causes from long ago.

Can Xue’s use of objects; scissors, drawers, chess set, quilts are steeped with symbolism. Her description of objects are projections of internal images of the narrator or allegorical explanations that parallel the Cultural Revolution. In the Cultural Revolution, books escaped by being buried and in the “Hut on the Mountain” the main character keeps digging up a chess set that her parents warn her from retrieving. “Every time you dig by the well and hit stone with a screeching sound, you make Mother and me feel as if we were hanging in midair. We shudder at the sound and kick with bare feet but can’t reach the ground” (385) I believe that the pursuit of intellect is represented by the chess set. The parent’s feelings are similar to that of a person being hung. During the Cultural Revolution it wasn’t only your actions that would get you into trouble but the actions of those around you. This is demonstrated by her insistence of digging the chess set out of the ground because it often made her parents feel disconnected from the earth and the sky. Can Xue’s description of objects reveal the real meaning of her piece. Private thoughts are represented by drawers, for example when the narrator starts to oil her drawers, her mother doesn’t pay attention because it makes no sound but even with this precaution, “the light suddenly went out. I heard mother’s sneering laugh in the next room” (385) She is constantly being watched by her family and they revel in the chance to be an obstacle in her pursuits.

Fear and cold sweat are juxtaposed to provide even further a feeling of uneasiness and paranoia. “You get so scared in your dreams that cold sweat drips from the soles of your feet. Everyone in this house sweats this way in his sleep. You have only to see how damp the quilts are.” (384) The quilts are soaked with sweat which further illustrates the constant anxiety the people who had experienced the revolution went through. When you sleep you are at your most vulnerable, and that’s why anxiety would affect the characters in such a way.

A motif of the narrator is that she is often sitting in her chair. The armchair represents the feeling of helplessness and invisible imprisonment of the narrator, “‘Bits of ice are forming in my stomach. When I sit down in my armchair I can hear them clinking away.’” (385) Her sitting in that chair is mentioned many times throughout the short story. The ice is indicative of the freezing of her innards in response to not being able to feel the warmth and safety of an open society. Her own family are her guards and all she can do is sit. The narrator sits in the chair with her hands on her knees doing nothing but listening to the “tumultuous sounds of the north wind whipping against the…hut, and the howling of the wolves echoing in the valleys.” (383) Even her father is a wolf, waiting to devour and mourning. The wolves are of course representative of the carnivorous forces that lurk in the valleys surrounding the hut.

Xue’s background: her family was sent away from a residential area to a tiny hut about ten by ten meters at the foot of Yueyushan Mountain (Raschke). Can Xue herself has had experiences dating from before the Cultural Revolution that would caution her from expressing her individuality. Her father was branded as an Ultra-rightest and so, her and her entire family were sent to live somewhere else to perform hard labor.

In the end the narrator goes up the mountain that day “There were no grapevines, nor any hut” (386) first sitting in a chair and then goes “into the white light” (386) escape from the communal vision, reality and authority. It is not a light that is comforting by any means. The white light symbolizes freedom where there is no family, no hut, nothing that would watch her silently, waiting to pounce like a wolf. But it is a loneliness and a blindness that will be difficult to eliminate. The Hut on the Mountain is a form of imprisonment since someone is banging on the door during the night to get out. The cultural resonance of individual images in the story and progression of discourse from strange but realistic unveil the internal self which simply vanishes under the dominance of the material reality and pressure of society to conform to the will of society.

All in all, the “Hut on the Mountain” is an allegorical tale in which the author uses family relationships, motifs, objects, an illogical plot progression, and first-person subjective narration to tell the real history of the Cultural Revolution. An exploration of identity crisis in conjunction with the persecution of the individual results in a Kafkaesque nightmare-scape that is Can Xue’s avant-garde short story.

Bibligraphy

Raschke, Debrah. “Can Xue’s “Hut on the Mountain”: Ghosts of China’s Cultural Revolution.” Short Story, vol. 21, no. 2, Fall2013, pp. 69-78. EBSCOhost, 0-search.ebscohost.com.libus.csd.mu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lfh&AN=108487111&site=eds-live.

Caffrey, Cait. “Avant-Garde.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2014. EBSCOhost, 0-search.ebscohost.com.libus.csd.mu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ers&AN=98402029&site=eds-live.

Lau, Joseph S. M., and Howard Goldblatt. The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature. Columbia University Press, 2007. Pp.383-386