Plum Shadows and Plank Bridge: Two Memoirs About Courtesans
Translated and edited by Wai-yee Li
Columbia University Press, January 2020
Amid the turmoil of the Ming-Qing dynastic transition in seventeenth-century China, some intellectuals sought refuge in romantic memories from what they perceived as cataclysmic events. This volume presents two memoirs by famous men of letters, Reminiscences of the Plum Shadows Convent by Mao Xiang (1611–93) and Miscellaneous Records of Plank Bridge by Yu Huai (1616–96), that recall times spent with courtesans. They evoke the courtesan world in the final decades of the Ming dynasty and the aftermath of its collapse.