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A romance about a man that turns into a raven. At the end the raven is shot and killed. I want to know the author or book title please. I think the author name started with a B. I think theres a sequel.

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  • Hi there! That's some info already, but could you please take a look at these guidelines on story-ID, see if they trigger any more memories you could edit in? Perhaps the most important - when would it have been published?
    – Jenayah
    Feb 25, 2019 at 17:49
  • I tried to add more to my question.
    – Rita Becke
    Dec 8, 2019 at 11:54
  • If there's a sequel, does the man somehow survive his death then, maybe being reborn as a man?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Dec 8, 2019 at 13:30
  • Why is a raven like a writing-desk? Because there is a B in both. Mar 6, 2020 at 20:17

1 Answer 1

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The Chinese folktale of "The Man Who Was Changed Into a Crow" matches on almost all points.

MR. YU JUNG was a Hu-nan man. The person who told me his story did not recollect from what department or district he came. His family was very poor; and once, when returning home after failure at the examination, he ran quite out of funds. Being ashamed to beg, and feeling uncomfortably hungry, he turned to rest awhile in the Wu Wang temple, where he poured out all his sorrows at the feet of the God. His prayers over, he was about to lie down in the outer porch, when suddenly a man took him and led him into the presence of Wu Wang; and then, falling on his knees, said, "Your Majesty, there is a vacancy among the black-robes; the appointment might be bestowed on this man." The King assented, and Yu received a suit of black clothes; and when he had put these on he was changed into a crow, and flew away. Outside he saw a number of fellow-crows collected together, and immediately joined them, settling with them on the masts of the boats, and imitating them in catching and eating the meat or cakes which the passengers and boatmen on board threw up to them in the air. In a little while he was no longer hungry, and, soaring aloft, alighted on the top of a tree quite satisfied with his change of condition. Two or three days passed, and the King, now pitying his solitary state, provided him with a very elegant mate, whose name was Chu-ch'ing, and who took every opportunity of warning him when he exposed himself too much in search of food. However, he did not pay much attention to this, and one day a soldier shot him in the breast with a cross-bow; but luckily Chu-ch'ing got away with him in her beak, and he was not captured. This enraged the other crows very much, and with their wings they flapped the water into such big waves that all the boats were upset. Chu-ch'ing now procured food and fed her husband; but his wound was a severe one, and by the end of the day he was dead at which moment he waked, as it were, from a dream, and found himself lying in the temple.

The tale goes on to have him be reunited with Chu-ch'ing, who had become a river spirit, and their son, Han-ch'an. There was a Japanese adaptation of it named "Blue Bamboo" in the book of stories by the same title, written by Osamu Dezai. Lastly, Boria Sax described a translation where the protagonist was transformed into a raven in Crow from Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio (archive.org link).

I found the original mention of the story by searching for novel Man "turned into a Raven" shot

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  • Why is it a romance? Does he meet a girl but then turns into a raven?
    – Danny Mc G
    Jan 16, 2020 at 22:38
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    @dannymcg: Nope. He becomes a raven, meets the girl raven, had a son, gets shot, wakes up human again, meets girl raven again who's actually a minor goddess, gets turned into a raven again.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jan 17, 2020 at 1:48

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