Bing Xin and The Little Orange Lantern

Chinese books for young readers

Bing Xin 冰心 (1900-1999) is a major figure in Chinese literature, and the Bing Xin Children’s Literature Award 冰心儿童文学新作奖 is one of the four major Chinese literature awards. This month, one of Bing Xin’s most famous works, The Little Orange Lantern 《小橘灯》,was featured on Brigitte Duzan’s website Chineseshortstories (including the memoir -essay in Chinese, her translation into French, and the background to the story). Inspired by Brigitte’s post, I have created a similar version for English readers here.

Bing Xin 1920s.jpg Bing Xin in the 1920s (photo: Wikipedia)

The Little Orange Lantern is one of Bing Xin’s best known pieces, and the title refers to a real lantern made by a little girl for Bing Xin. The author had taken a gift of oranges to her house on the mountain. The following excerpt is from Gong Shifen’s English translation, “The Little Orange Lamp”, published in Renditions, Autumn 1989, pp. 130-132 (pdf here

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