The Carnal Prayer Mat
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336pp. December 1996
The Carnal Prayer Mat
Author: Li Yu; Translator: Hanan, Patrick;
In the 300 years since its initial publication, Li Yu's book has been widely read in China, where it is recognized as a benchmark of erotic literature and currently enjoys the distinction of being a banned-in-Beijing classic.
"This strange and delightful book, one of the most vivid texts on the shelf of Chinese erotica, shows Chinese society in a state of undress. Patrick Hanan's translation is illuminating, fluent, and exhaustive--not only scholarly but sexy." --Paul Theroux

"What separates Li Yu's novel from [Fanny Hill or Justine], however, is its humor: it is one of the funniest books ever written." --New Yorker

One of the great classics of Chinese erotica, The Carnal Prayer Mat certainly gets pretty raunchy in places. It stands out not for this, however, but for its brilliant comedy and satire; it could be read as a sparklingly witty light novel even by those without an interest in erotica." --dannyreviews.com

Author: Li Yu; Translator: Hanan, Patrick;



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