The fifty-nine stories in this book, many translated here for the first time and presented in chronological order, span 2,117 years, from the Han Dynasty (206 B.C to A.D. 220) to the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1911). Legendary or historical, the characters play out their lives in imaginary or real landscapes that detail significant events in ancient Chinese history. For both aficionados and those new to Chinese classical literature, these tales will entertain as well as give an understanding of the background of later literary works.
Until several years ago and at different periods of his life, Chi Him Chiu had lived in Johore, Singapore, Kuching, Amoy, Hong Kong, and Manila. He now makes his home in the United States. Essentially a self-made man, he studied English, Chinese, Spanish, Filipino, and Japanese in his youth, becoming a teacher of English and, later, businessman. Since his retirement, Chi Him spends his time pursuing his passion for writing and translating Chinese literary works.