My Fair Concubine: Literary & Folkloric References

Text of: Great Tang Records on the Western Regions


It’s obvious My Fair Concubine was inspired by the classic tale of My Fair Lady and Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, but the story is actually an homage to many more works that might not be familiar to readers not familiar with Chinese culture. So what were the Chinese works also referenced throughout the book? I’ve always been impressed with the culture of literacy in Tang Dynasty China so I couldn’t set a book in Changan, a center of literature and art, without mentioning some literary works. Since the book doesn’t have extensive author’s notes, I thought I’d give a little information about them here.

Forgive my extensive use of Wiki here to provide quick links and references. This is meant to be a summary and a survey and not an in-depth research bibliography. Continue reading