Lust, Caution

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For the 2007 film adaptation by Ang Lee, see Lust, Caution (film).
Lust, Caution
Author Eileen Chang
Translator Julia Lovell

Lust, Caution (Chinese: 色,戒; pinyin: Sè, Jiè) is a novella by the Chinese writer Eileen Chang, first published in 1979. It is set in Shanghai, Republic of China during World War II. Reportedly, the short story "took Chang more than two decades to complete".[1]

Plot summary[edit]

In China, during the Japanese occupation in World War II, a young student and former actress named Wong Chia Chi has agreed to be the central figure in the assassination of a Japanese collaborator, Yee. Using the alias of Mak Tai Tai (Mrs. Mak) and the fictional Mr. Mak, Chia Chi befriends Mr. Yee's wife, Yee Tai Tai, and eventually seduces her husband in order to kill him. However, she falls in love with him and just before her comrades try to kill him, she warns him. He escapes and has the whole group executed, including Wong Chia Chi.


  • Wang Chia Chi aka Mak Tai Tai
  • Mr. Yee
  • Yee Tai Tai
  • Mr. Maki
  • Kuang Yu Min
  • Wu
  • Liang Jun Sheng

English translations[edit]

Lust, Caution was not published in English until 2007.

  1. Lust, Caution (色,戒). Translated by Julia Lovell. New York: Anchor Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-307-38744-8.
  2. Lust, Caution: The Story, the Screenplay, and the Making of the Film. Translated by Julia Lovell. New York: Pantheon Books, 2007. ISBN 978-0-375-42524-0.


For the 2007 film by Ang Lee, see Lust, Caution (film).

In 2009, an abridged version of Lust, Caution was read by Greg Wise as part of a series of online Jackanory style online films for The Carte Noire Readers.[2]


  1. ^ Robert Wilonsky, accessed: 6 December 2009.
  2. ^ MSN Entertainment