Our spring sale is on! Use promo code SPRING24 at checkout to save 50% on any order!

Selected Plays of Stan Lai

Volume 1: Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land and Other Plays

Subjects: Theater and Performance, Asian Studies, China
Paperback : 9780472055074, 520 pages, 6 illustrations, 6 x 9, February 2022
Hardcover : 9780472075072, 520 pages, 6 illustrations, 6 x 9, February 2022
Ebook : 9780472129553, 520 pages, 6 illustrations, 6 x 9, December 2021
See expanded detail +
Or shop at these retailers: Amazon - Kindle

Bringing the iconic plays of Stan Lai to an English-language readership


These volumes feature works from across Lai’s career, providing an exceptional selection of a diverse range of performances.
Volume One contains:
Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land
Look Who's Crosstalking Tonight
The Island and the Other Shore
I Me She Him
Ménage à 13

Stan Lai (Lai Shengchuan) is one of the most celebrated theatre practitioners working in the Chinese-speaking world. His work over three decades has pioneered the course of modern Chinese language theatre in Taiwan, China, and other Chinese speaking regions. "The preeminent Chinese playwright and stage director of this generation." (China Daily) "The best Chinese language playwright and director in the world." (BBC) Lai's works include masterpieces of the modern Chinese language theatre such as Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, The Village, and his epic 8-hour A Dream Like A Dream, all of which are in this collection.

Lissa Tyler Renaud (M.A. Directing, Ph.D. Theatre History/Criticism, U.C. Berkeley, 1987) is known internationally as a master teacher, actor-scholar, invited speaker, writer, critic, and 2nd generation editor.

"The major contemporary Asian playwright of his time, perhaps of all time."
—Robert Brustein, from the Foreword

- Robert Brustein

“Stan Lai is the most important contemporary playwright in the Chinese-speaking world. Many of his plays are household names, known for their inventiveness, depth, and imagination. With its beautiful English translations and superb, digestible introductions by Tao Qingmei, this collection is essential reading for everyone interested in contemporary theatre today."
—Emily Wilcox, William & Mary, author of Revolutionary Bodies: Chinese Dance and the Socialist Legacy

- Emily Wilcox, William & Mary

"Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, by the playwright and director Stan Lai, may be the most popular contemporary play in China . . . By the end, Jiang finds Yun, and the laughter gives way to sobs as the audience is left to contemplate the burdens of memory, history, longing, love, and the power of theatre itself."
—Sheila Melvin, the New York Times, 10 January 2007

- Sheila Melvin

“I was fortunate to see the original production of I Me She Him in Taipei in 1998, and reading Stan Lai’s own translation of his play aroused wonderful memories and new insights. This long-awaited anthology opens the work of a playwright of worldwide significance, but not worldwide access, to English-speaking readers.”
—John B. Weinstein, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, editor of Voices of Taiwanese Women: Three Contemporary Plays

- John B. Weinstein

“The University of Michigan Press has published another milestone book in the history of world theatre! Not only is Stan Lai one of the most important playwrights in the Chinese and Sinophone cultures, but he is also essential in understanding the beauty, potential, contradiction, and complexity in human conditions magnificently expressed in theatre. A must read for all interested in drama, history, society, and the arts.”
—Xiaomei Chen, Distinguished Professor, University of California at Davis. Author of Staging Chinese Revolution

- Xiaomei Chen

“The God of Laughter reigns over Lai’s Taiwan/PRC crosstalk yielding gnosis born of multigenerational traumas. In crisp dialogue and clear introductions, international readers find all needed to understand the complex literary references, mysticisms, and vexed politics of China and Taiwan as we savor tales of family trauma, corporate greed, and youthful idealism born of the Chinese experience, but resonating far beyond.”
—Kathy Foley, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Theatre Arts at the University of California, Santa Cruz

- Kathy Foley

Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land has been described as 'tragedy and comedy side by side on stage, in plays within a play, with classic and modern intersecting in themes of waiting and searching.' It goes far beyond this, practically employing all the dramatic devices of Western modernism, plus postmodernism. Brecht, Stanislavski, and Mei Lan-fang are all represented here, but what is exemplary is that it is diverse yet not scattered, everything in its proper place. In other postmodernist collage theatre pieces, diversity creates chaos, toward the purpose of deconstruction. In Secret Love in Peach Blossom Land, the collage created by placing the two plays Secret Love and Peach Blossom Land next to each other creates, on the other hand, a marvelous synthesis . . . Here the theories of Chinese poetry and Chinese theatre poems give deeper meaning to the postmodern term ‘collage,’ rather than simply pirating the use of the device."
—Tian Benxiang, Professor, Chinese National Academy of Arts, in am Post, Hong Kong, July 2007

- Tian Benxiang

Listen: Interview with Stan Lai, hosted by Andy Boyd, on the New Books Network | 06/14/2022