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The Literature of China in the Twentieth Centuryby Kam Louie
Selected for Choice's 35th Annual Outstanding Academic Books list
Synopses & Reviews
In this ground-breaking book, Bonnie S. McDougall and Kam Louie present the first comprehensive, integrated survey of twentieth-century Chinese literature. The Literature of China in the Twentieth Century traces the development of Chinese literature from the Boxer Rebellion, when the strains of Western influence first emerged, to the Tiananmen Massacre, when dissident poets, such as Bei Dao, earned international acclaim and indefinite exile from the mainland.
Each of the book's three chronological sections contains individual chapters examining the poetry, drama, and fiction of the period and includes an introduction outlining the historical and social context of the individual writers and their works. By analyzing this captivating literary tradition in terms of subject, theme, language, structure, style, intended audience, and cultural impact, the authors present a vivid picture of this important literature and a unique window on twentieth-century Chinese society.
"We have long needed a readable, comprehensive, objectively written, and well-organized history of twentieth-century Chinese literature; with this book we will have one." Howard Goldblatt, coeditor, Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature
"The most comprehensive scholarly overview of twentieth-century Chinese poetry, fiction, and drama ever published in English... Outstanding." Choice
"The pragmatic virtues of this important book make it an indispensable work for newcomers to the field, as well as professionals engaged in the research and teaching of modern and contemporary Chinese literature. The wealth of detail it contains and the accessibility of its organization make it a highly efficient reference." Simon Patton, Chinese University of Hong Kong The Journal of Asian Studies
The first historical survey of twentieth century Chinese literature, this book focuses on the works produced by and in the tradition of this new intellectual elite. It chronicles the writers who, continuing in the Chinese tradition of using literature to exert moral, social, and political leadership, engaged in the debate over the nature, development and future of Chinese society. Organized chronologically, each section includes an introduction, placing the historical and social context for the ensuing discussions, which are divided into three topical chapters: poetry, fiction, and drama.
About the Author
Bonnie S. McDougall is professor of Chinese at Edinburgh University and translator of many works of poetry and fiction. She is the author of a number of books, including The Yellow Earth: A Film by Chen Kaige with a Complete Transcript of the Film.
Kam Louie is professor of Chinese at the University of Queensland and author of a number of books on Chinese literature and culture. He is coauthor of The Politics of Chinese Language and Culture and editor of Asian Studies Review.
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