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Sun Palace

by Ye Guangqin

Ye Guangqin invites readers to join her on a journey of discovery to the Sun Palace

"Sun Palace was not a famous place in Beijing, either in the past or in the present day. In my childhood, I talked to others about Sun Palace with pride, though nobody had heard of it."

Guangqin is a lonely girl, ignored by her ageing father and older half-siblings as she entertains herself in the dilapidated courtyard of her once-illustrious family home in 1950s Beijing. The highlight of her year is a summer visit to the remote village home of her mother’s childhood friend, where she enjoys balmy days and sleepless nights in the company of a yellow dog and a boy named Sunny. In her autobiographical novel, Ye Guangqin creates a poignant vista of chirping weasels, rural feasts and crumbling shrines as she invites readers to join her on a journey of discovery to the Sun Palace.

This book is part of Shaanxi Stories, a series of translated works by acclaimed authors from the Shaanxi province of China, produced by Valley Press in collaboration with Northwest University, Xi’an. The series editors are Hu Zongfeng and Robin Gilbank.


Ye Guangqin was born in Beijing in 1948, the thirteenth child of Manchu parents. At the age of twenty, during the height of the Cultural Revolution, she was seconded to work as a nurse in the western city of Xi’an. It was here that she developed a fascination with the culture of Shaanxi Province, and in particular, the fauna and villagers of the Qinling Mountains – which became the subject of Mountain Stories, the first English-language publication of her work, published in 2017 by Valley Press.

On becoming a full-time professional writer in the 1990s, she drew on her royal background to create historical tales of Old Peking as well as elaborating on local legends from her adopted area. Ye Guangqin’s Greenwood Riverside, a bestselling account of the executed mountain bandit leader Wei Futang, was shortlisted for the Mao Dun Literary Prize before being adapted into a television serial.


Date Published: 2022-03-24

ISBN: 978-1-912436-73-6

Catalogue Number: VP0194

Number of Pages: 96

Text and cover design by Peter Barnfather

Cover art: Study of a Dog (1860s) by Rosa Bonheur

Series edited by Hu Zongfeng and Robin Gilbank

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