About Xi Xi’s A Girl Like Me
“Apple,” a short story originally published in Su Yeh Literature, then republished in this book, was translated by Jennifer Feely and published in Words Without Borders in 2018. The translation may be read here.
Critics’ views on A Girl Like Me
Ho Fuk-Yan: “Girls Like Them: A Discussion of the ‘I’ in ‘A Girl Like Me’ and ‘The Cold’ ”
Many years ago, a friend who was chatting with Xi Xi asked her why she hadn’t written any love stories. Xi Xi replied, “All right,” and proceeded to write “A Girl Like Me,” and then later “The Cold.” Both pieces are Xi Xi’s best-known love stories, or at least, stories about love. But in fact, when it comes stories about love, there are more than these two…
“A Girl Like Me” was first published in the journal Plain Leaves Literature, and then republished in the supplement to United Daily in Taiwan. According to the Taiwanese poet Ya Hsien, the phrase “… like me” soon became vogue in Taiwan.
In “A Girl Like Me,” the “I” considers herself unsuitable for love because of how people ostracize beauticians for the dead, while the “I” in “The Cold” abandons her pursuit of love for filial piety since she is in a patriarchal society.
The former “I” constantly ruminates, and at the end is basically the same “I,” but having progressed from self-doubt to self-assertion; the latter progresses from an “ “old I ” to a “new I.”
(Translations on this page are by Chen Yanyi and Jennifer Feeley)
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