Books

For more details and reviews or to order the books, click on the images.


Unabridged


Journey to the West (4-Volume Box Edition)

Translated by: W.J.F. Jenner

 

'The most complete and faithful translation of Journey to the West'

'Jenner's translation is consistently fine and accurate.'


 

The Journey to the West (Vol 1)

Translated by: Anthony C. Yu

'A fantastic version of the Chinese classic'

 

The Journey to the West (Vol 2)

Translated by: Anthony C. Yu

'Yu's gifts are a breath of fresh air'

 

The Journey to the West (Vol 3)

Translated by: Anthony C. Yu

 

'Everything one could want'

 

The Journey to the West (Vol 4)

Translated by: Anthony C. Yu

 

'Truly a wonderful tale'

'Highly recommended.'
 

 


Abridged


Monkey/ Folk Novel of China

Translated by: Arthur Waley

'Amazingly funny/witty/deep novel'

'I could not put this book down!'

'Waley has done a truly impressive job of translating, editing, and bringing to life a selection of the stories from the original'

'Absolutely hilarious'


The Monkey and the Monk: An Abridgement of the Journey to the West

Translated by: Anthony C. Yu

'Yuís abridgment of his four-volume translation, The Monkey and the Monk, finally distills the epic novelís most exciting and meaningful episodes without taking anything away from their true spirit.'

'A new translation of a major literary text which totally supersedes the best existing version. . . . It establishes beyond contention the position of The Journey to the West in world literature, while at the same time throwing open wide the doors to interpretive study on the part of the English audience.' óModern Language Notes, on the unabridged translation


Supplementary Reading

Can't get enough of Journey to the West? Want to find out more about the background and characters of the novel? Want to read some really good classical books? Then this is the section for you! Further reading for Journey to the West fans, hand-picked by yours truly! (Includes critical readings and fiction - or more accurately, fan fiction.)


Tower of Myriad Mirrors: A Supplement to Journey to the West (Click on this link to buy)

By: Tung Yueh

'In The Tower of Myriad Mirrors, [Monkey] defends his claim to enlightenment against a villain who induces hallucinations that take [him] into the past, to heaven and hell, and even through a sex change. The villain turns out to be the personification of his own desires, aroused by his penetration of a female adversary's body in Journey to the West.

In this, his only novel, author Tung Yueh (1620-1686), a monk and Confucian scholar, picks up the slapstick of the original tale and overlays it with Buddhist theory and bitter satire of the Ming government's capitulation to the Manchus. After a nod to Journey's storyteller format, Tung carries Monkey's quest into an evocation of shifting psychological states rarely found in pre-modern fiction. An important though relatively unknown link in the development of the Chinese novel and window into late Ming intellectual history, The Tower of Myriad Mirrors further rewards by being a wonderful read.'

 - Editorial review from www.amazon.com

'Almost four hundred years before movies like "The Sixth Sense" shocked audiences with surprise endings, Tung Yueh's "Tower of Myriad Mirrors" was blowing away mid 17th century China with its own original brand of psyche-out plot twists. "Tower" was a gripping tale to its originally intended audience, and the story has stood the test of time and is read to this day due to its fantastic imagery and imaginative method of imparting Buddhist theory.'

'Tung Yueh wrote this 16-chapter novella (most Chinese novels are in excess of 100 chapters) as a supplement to the famous narrative "Journey to the West" as a way to explore the psyche of the Monkey character. It is elegantly written and conjures imagery that is beautiful and exotic as well as brutal and violent.'

'The Buddhist message of "Tower" is that one must strive to overcome the demons of desire within oneself - and this message is delivered by means of a fascinating journey through a dream world conjured up [in] Monkey's mind.'

'While "Tower of Myriad Mirrors" is not an easy read, it is a rewarding one. This edition is well translated and provides many helpful footnotes that will enable readers not well-versed in the background of Chinese vernacular religious stories or Buddhism to understand.'

- Quotations from Xoe Li Lu's review of this book

The Tower of Myriad Mirrors is a work based on Journey to the West, a kind of fanfiction, actually. Only this 'fic' was written at the end of the Ming Dynasty, and was written by the author to express his disillusionment and his anger towards the corrupt Ming government. The main character is Sun Wu Kong, but the author seems less inclined to threat him as a character than a vehicle he uses to express his issues and feelings. The focus of this story are the issues. Still, it is an interesting read for the fans of Journey to the West like us.

-Yuen

Click here for discussion and previews of the first few chapters, courtesy of a reader of this site.

 


Fictions of Enlightenment: Journey to the West, Tower of Myriad Mirrors, and Dream of the Red Chamber (Click on this link to buy)

By: Li Qiancheng

'Fictions of Enlightenment is the first book to examine the fascinating and intricate relationship between Buddhism and the development of Chinese vernacular fiction. Qiancheng Li brings Buddhist models to bear on the vision, structure, and narrative form of three classics of late imperial literature - Journey to the West, Tower of Myriad Mirrors, and Dream of the Red Chamber--arguing that by fashioning their plots after the narratives of certain Mahayana sutras, the novelists transformed Buddhist concepts into narrative structures. Within the traditional Chinese novel Li even defines a new genre: the fiction of enlightenment.'

- Book description from www.amazon.com

"This groundbreaking study of this very important but long-neglected topic is well-researched, richly-documented, and finely-written."

- Martin Huang, University of California, Irvine

"Li's exposition of how Buddhist soteriological patterns... can modulate to become narrative structures is persuasive, brilliant, and original."

- Anthony C. Yu, University of Chicago (translator of Journey to the West)

 


American Born Chinese

Nominated for the National Book Award

Winner of the 2007 Michael Printz Award

Amazon's Top 50 Books of 2006

Amazon.com Editorial Review & Book Description:
'Indie graphic novelist Gene Yang's intelligent and emotionally challenging American Born Chinese is made up of three individual plotlines: the determined efforts of the Chinese folk hero Monkey King to shed his humble roots and be revered as a god; the struggles faced by Jin Wang, a lonely Asian American middle school student who would do anything to fit in with his white classmates; and the sitcom plight of Danny, an All-American teen so shamed by his Chinese cousin Chin-Kee (a purposefully painful ethnic stereotype) that he is forced to change schools. Each story works well on its own, but Yang engineers a clever convergence of these parallel tales into a powerful climax that destroys the hateful stereotype of Chin-Kee, while leaving both Jin Wang and the Monkey King satisfied and happy to be who they are.

Yang skillfully weaves these affecting, often humorous stories together to create a masterful commentary about race, identity, and self-acceptance that has earned him a spot as a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People. The artwork, rendered in a chromatically cool palette, is crisp and clear, with clean white space around center panels that sharply focuses the reader's attention in on Yang's achingly familiar characters. There isn't an adolescent alive who won't be able to relate to Jin's wish to be someone other than who he is, and his gradual realization that there is no better feeling than being comfortable in your own skin.'

- Jennifer Hubert

Lured in by the promise of some serious fantasy (as, I am sure, many kids who pick up this book will as well) I found a story about assimilation that is so brilliantly penned and carefully plotted that it rivals every notion of what a graphic novel can and can't do. Do you know someone who couldn't care less about this new format? Someone who thinks comic books can't convey the weight and intelligence of a proper novel? Thrust "American Born Chinese" into their arms immediately, if not sooner. If I were to choose a single graphic novel to grace every library's children's room nationwide, you can bet that this is the puppy I'd put my faith in.

- E.R. Bird 'Ramseelbird'

A surprising interweaving of Chinese myth and legend, prejudice and self-acceptance, and the coming of age of a first generation American-born boy of Chinese descent, make AMERICAN BORN CHINESE an exceptionally entertaining and thought-provoking graphic novel.

- Richard Partington

This graphic novel has three storylines, one of which is the story of Sun Wu Kong. It ties in with the other two storylines at the end, in a very surprising way... Don't worry, no spoilers here! Read the novel to find out what happens! :D

- Yuen


Children


The Magical Monkey King

Translated by: Youshan Tang Ji-Li Jiang

Illustrated by: Hui Hui Su-Kennedy

Ages: 7-10

'An amazing, enjoyable, and whimsical read for all ages.'

'Abridged enough so the kids don't get bored, but complete enough to be faithful to the full-length novel.'

'Excellent book.'


Monkey: A Superhero Tale of China (Retold from The Journey to the West)

Translated by: Aaron Shepard

Ages: 9-12

'Best historic superhero!'


Monkey King

Illustrated by: Ed Young

Ages: 4-8

'Visually striking'

'The art is a lot of fun; the collages burst with color and energy.'

'Incredible illustrations'


Monkey Subdues the White-Bone Demon

Translated by: Wang Hsing-Pei, Chao Hung-Pen, Chien Hsiao Tai

Ages: 4-8

'The most often overlooked feature of this version is the beautiful artwork present on nearly every page, almost certainly modeled after ancient Chinese woodcuts recalling this very legend, if not reproductions of the actual woodcuts themselves'


Adventures of Monkey King

Translated by: R. L. Gao

Illustrated by: Marlys Johnson-Barton

'Does an excellent job of introducing the character of the Monkey King, and tells the portions of the story that it covers well, and on a level comprehensible to children.'

'Lots of fun'


The Making of Monkey King

Translated by: Robert Kraus, Debby Chen

Illustrated by: Wenhai Ma

'In The Making of Monkey King, the fantastic beginnings of this unforgettable hero are told.'

'...the best picture-book version of the story to date...'


If you have information or comments about books related to Xiyouji please tell me.

 

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