Compiled from ancient and scattered texts and based on revelatory new research, Handbook of Chinese Mythology is the most comprehensive English-language work on the subject ever written from an exclusively Chinese perspective.
This work focuses on the Han Chinese people but ranges across the full ethnic spectrum of ancient and modern China, showing how key myths endured and evolved over time. A quick reference section covers all major deities, spirits, and demigods, as well as important places (Kunlun Mountain), mythical animals and plants (the crow with three feet; Fusang tree), and appurtenances (Xirang—a kind of mythical soil; Bu Si Yao—mythical medicine for long life). No other work captures so well what Chinese mythology means to the people who lived and continue to live their lives by it.
- Primary source documents include translations of important historical records on Chinese myths, excerpts from national sources collected since the 1980s (unique to an English-language book), plus contemporary research from the authors' field research and the research of other Chinese scholars
- 30–40 illustrations from the Ming dynasty edition of Shan Hai Jing (The Classic of Mountains and Seas), plus 10–15 photos from the authors' personal collections and field research, including the new statue built in honor of Nuwa in northern China, people gathered at a contemporary temple fair, women dancers at the Renzu Temple, and more