Stories of Old Peking (《城南舊事》) portrays the adult world in Peking of the 1930s as seen through the eyes of a little girl. The five sequential stories in the book are well constructed in terms of theme and character development and, as such, can be read as a novel.
The stories differ greatly from many other books on life in China, whether they are about the olden times or the present day, in that they do not dwell on politics, nor do they try to make any statements regarding set beliefs of any kind. The stories are simple and direct. Through the eyes and innocent mind of the child, we are let into her world and her feeling and cannot but be moved.
The author is well known for her perception and humor, and both these qualities inform her stories. The sense of loss and bewilderment which arouses the child’s awareness of the uncertainties of human relationships, even of life itself, and which finally catapults the child away from childhood joys into the sorrows of the adult world is handled with great sensitivity and lyricism.
出生於日本，成長於北京，1948 年起定居台灣，是一位多產的作家、編輯和出版人，以觀察入微，遣詞幽默，善用短句，節奏輕快，用語靈活而聞名。1960 年林海音出版小說集《城南舊事》，隨即奠定了她在台灣文壇上的基礎。本書由五個順序的故事組成，描寫一個台灣家庭於1920年代旅居北京的故事，透過主人翁小英子熱切單純的眼睛觀察她周遭的成人世界。林海音以細膩、抒情的筆觸，描寫本來天真無憂的小英子慢慢領略到人際關係和生命的無常，在迷失和困惑中，告別了童年。《城南舊事》出版後立即成為膾炙人口的作品，並在1982年由上海製片廠改編拍攝為電影。
Lin Hai-yin, born in Japan in 1918, is a graduate of the World Journalism College in Peiping She is a prolific writer and had been the editor of the literary page of United Daily News and The Literary Monthly before establishing her own publishing house.
Nancy C. Ing studied English literature in the West China Union University, Chengtu. She has translated several collections of short stories and is presently editor of The Chinese PEN, the English quarterly of the Taipei Chinese Center, International P.E.N.
Chi Pang-yuan is Professor of English at National Taiwan University and Chief Editor of An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Literature (2 vols.).
本書兩位譯者，殷張蘭熙曾任台灣中華民國筆會英文季刊 The Chinese PEN 總編輯達二十年之久（1972–1992），現為該刊出版人；齊邦媛為台灣大學外文系榮休教授，曾主編《中國現代文學選集》。