Li Longyun's five-act play, Small Well Lane (Xiaojing hutong), is a spoken drama published in Beijing in 1981. With a cast of nearly thirty characters of different social roles and individual persona, the play provides a vivid sense of how a group of working class Beijing residents living in a courtyard compound in a back alley, or hutong, named "Small Well Lane" experienced China's revolution from 1949 to 1980. It beautifully records the art of talking and living among Beijing back alley folk and provides a vivid contrast to the concerns and lives of China's elites.
This authoritative translation by Hong Jiang and Timothy Cheek is accompanied by notes and annotations to help readers not familiar with China's modern history. A special appendix and ten photographs bring to life the culture of Beijing's famous back alleys.
This edition of Small Well Lane provides readers, and especially students of modern Chinese history, politics, and literature, with a compelling story of the human experience of Mao's revolution in China. It will be of interest to students of modern China and specialists in Chinese history and literature as well as to the general reader.
Li Longyun is a professional playwright working at the Beijing People's Art Theater. Hong Jiang is Assistant Professor of Chinese Language and Literature, Colorado College. Timothy Cheek is Associate Professor of History, Colorado College.