The Plum in the Golden Vase or, Chin P'ing Mei, Volume One
Translated by David Tod Roy
In this first of a planned five-volume set, David Roy provides a complete and annotated translation of the famous Chin P'ing Mei, an anonymous sixteenth-century Chinese novel that focuses on the domestic life of Hsi-men Ch'ing, a corrupt, upwardly mobile merchant in a provincial town, who maintains a harem of six wives and concubines. This work, known primarily for its erotic realism, is also a landmark in the development of the narrative art form--not only from a specifically Chinese perspective but in a world-historical context.
David Tod Roy (1933–2016) was professor emeritus of Chinese literature at the University of Chicago. His monumental five-volume translation of the Chin P'ing Mei was completed in 2013.