Monday, September 5, 2011

"The Package"

Ye Dengtao

Another story in which the protagonist’s suspicious behavior almost leads to conviction—because he acts guilty and shows it.

A friend has asked him to take a package with him to his home on the train. The friend is an enemy of the government. Naturally, the protagonist suspects that the package contains material of an incriminating nature.

And now an agent of the government is checking packages. When the train reaches its destination, the protagonist leaps into a rickshaw and directs the attendant to take devious ways to his home. Once there he runs inside, waiting for the agent to follow with a pistol in his hands.

The “incriminating” material is an obituary of the friend’s grandmother, signed by her grandson.

Rating: *** out of *****.

About the Author: “One of the major story writers in modern China, Ye Shengtao was born in 1894 in the province of Jiangsu. He completed high school but his family could not afford to send him to college and he started working as a teacher. He taught on the elementary, high school and college levels, and after establishing a connection with a publishing house, a new career blossomed. He has edited several magazines including Short Story Monthly. As editor, he gave many now famous writers their first break. His own works are well-received, several collections of short stories have been published. (His books were banned by the ‘gang of four’ but are now again available.” Ye Shengtao is a modest, kindly person who freely praises other writers’ work. He writes in the vernacular, not in classical Chinese; his work is fluent.”

Short Story International #30. Ed. Sylvia Tankel. February 1982. Pp.25-31. 

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