top of page

Original title:



Original language

Complex Chinese


Publication info:

Hung-Fan Bookstore

1 August 1992


332 pages



Narrative non-fiction

Rights handled by New River

Foreign rights excl. China

Rights sold:


Mourning a Breast
 by Xi Xi

WEL rights just sold to NYRB Classics!


A Chinese language modern classic written by renowned Hong Kong author Xi Xi, Mourning a Breast is the first Chinese language book to expose myths associated with breast cancer, and to cast off the stigma of writing about illness.


Told from a first-person perspective, the book opens with the narrator putting aside her swimsuit. She loves swimming, having fun eavesdropping other regulars' conversations, and enjoys shopping for swimsuits. So begins this personal account of the author's journey of going through breast cancer. Experimenting different genres, the book not only explores the author's physical and psychological reactions to cancer, but also offers an intimate look into Hong Kong as a city: its hospitals, streets, people, and its dailiness, in the late eighties, a city different from what it is today. Agnès Varda's playful style meets Annie Ernaux's The Years. Mourning a Breast, and Xi Xi's oeuvre in general, is a hidden gem that deserves a wider audience. 

About the author


Xi Xi (1937-2022) was born in Shanghai and moved to Hong Kong with her family in 1950. She was one of the most acclaimed writers in the Sinophone world. Hailed by critics as a major and unique voice in global Sinophone literature and a stylistic innovator across genres, she published more than 30 books of different genres in addition to newspaper and magazine columns and screenplays. Xi Xi was the winner of the 6th Newman Prize for Chinese Literature in 2019, and was awarded Life Achievement Award by the HK Arts Development Council in 2022.

Xi Xi(1).JPG

My City

Germany (Suhrkamp)

Vietnam (Nha Nam)

WEL (Penguin Classics)

bottom of page