This anthology presents as selection of Chinese prose compositions from the 3rd century AD to the present. The essays start from the early masters of the form, Lu Xun and Zhou Zuoren, take in the stalwarts of the middle generations , like Ye Shengtao, Zhu Ziqing, Feng Zikai, Liang Shiqiu and Liang Yuchun, and conclude with living writers who publish in Taiwan and the mainland. The aim has been to translate examples that are good in themselves and also contribute something individual to the essay form. The classical compositions represent the native tradition that the modern essayists either attuned to or reacted against. The anthology has a 20-page introduction that traces the history of Chinese essay writing, and separate commentaries for each writer chosen. Annotation is kept to the minimum in the interests of readability. The aim is to present and appraise the Chinese essay as an art form for the benefit of English readers.