“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

她们 (lit. Them)

Novel by Ren Xiaowen.

Ren Xiaowen’s novel Them interweaves the stories of eight women in eighties Shanghai, from the earliest years of their youth all the way into maturity. The book spends significant time narrating the characters’ middle school and high school years, yet it is more than a common bildungsroman; by setting these young women’s lives together in such obvious contrast, it creates a three-dimensional representation of post-eighties Shanghai, the city of money and lights that not even thirty years of revolutionary Communism could stifle.