Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The No-One Girl and the Flower of the Farther Shore, by E. Lily Yu

★★★☆☆ Average

(Chinese Fable) The no-one girl scratches out a bare living since her grandmother died. Everyone in the village ignores her, but she thinks a beautiful, rare flower she discovered will win her the prize at the annual mid-autumn festival. (2,866 words; Time: 09m)

"," by (edited by Neil Clarke), appeared in issue 138, published on .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: It’s rather sad tale of how the butcher’s boy (a person with privilege) envied the poor no-one girl and stole the only thing she had, ruining it in the process. She dies and is reborn as the everything girl, who takes joy in everything. He enjoys a quotidian life, and after he's gone, the festival prize is shown for the worthless thing it really was.

Con: There’s got to be a deeper meaning here, but I’m not really seeing it. Why does her spirit end up rewarding the butcher boy?

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1 comment (may contain spoilers):

  1. I didn't take it as a reward but as a "there's no instant karma" thing and as her just generally transcending it all in an Eastern mystic way ("veil of Maya/vanity of Ecclesiastes" stuff). Like Jim Morrison, I like the veil, myself. "No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn."