In “Fiery Red Pearl,” Fang’Ao Leng offers a masterful reinterpretation of a traditional folk tale rooted in the shamanistic beliefs of her northeastern Chinese hometown. Set a century ago, it tells the story of Henyu, a young woman born into a struggling hunter’s family, who seeks refuge from her father’s domestic abuse in the surrounding mountains. There, she serendipitously rescues a fox spirit ensnared in a trap, an act that changes her life. Through this podcast, Henyu, now a venerable great-grandmother, recounts her life’s tale. Her narrative prompts her great-granddaughter, and listeners alike, to explore enduring, thought-provoking questions that are perhaps more pertinent today.
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of the School of Art, Communication and English at the University of Sydney.