Eminent sinologist Lévy attempts an almost impossible task: to provide a general picture of ancient Chinese literature... Lévy's book is unique among the numerous published histories... because it is organized according to genres rather than according to the customary dynastic-political divisions." ―Choice
André Lévy provides a "picture of Chinese literature of the past." He does so not in lengthy dissertations, but by blending the colors of approximately 120 vivid translations with his personal insights, and then framing these readings in innovative historical accounts. The result is a brilliant illustration of the four basic literary groups of traditional China: the classics, poetry, prose, and the literature of entertainment.