Synopses & Reviews
Filled with mirages, hallucinations, myths, mental puzzles, and the fantastic, the contemporary experimental fiction of the Chinese avant-garde represents a genre of storytelling unlike any other. Whether engaging the worn spectacle of history, expressing seemingly unmotivated violence, or reinventing outlandish Tibetan myths, these stories are defined by their devotion to theatrics and their willful apathy toward everything held sacred by the generation that witnessed the Cultural Revolution.
Jing Wang has selected provocative examples of this new school of writing, which gained prominence in the late 1980s. Contradicting many long-cherished beliefs about Chinese writers—including the alleged tradition of writing as a political act against authoritarianism—these stories make a dramatic break from conventions of modern Chinese literature by demonstrating an irreverence toward history and culture and by celebrating the artificiality of storytelling. Enriched by the work of a distinguished group of translators, this collection presents an aesthetic experience that may have outraged many revolutionary-minded readers in China, but one that also occupies an important place in the canon of Chinese literature. China’s Avant-Garde Fiction brings together a group of exceptional writers (including Raise the Red Lantern author Su Tong) to the attention of an English-speaking audience.
This book will be enjoyed by those interested in Chinese literature, culture, and society—particularly readers of contemporary fiction.
Contributors. Bei Cun, Can Xue, Gei Fei, Ma Yuan, Su Tong, Sun Ganlu, Yu Hua
Translators. Eva Shan Chou, Michael S. Duke, Howard Goldblatt, Ronald R. Janssen, Andrew F. Jones, Denis C. Mair, Victor H. Mair, Caroline Mason, Beatrice Spade, Kristina M. Torgeson, Jian Zhang, Zhu Hong
“This collection is bound to create an impact on the direction of research in Chinese literary studies. And Jing’s perceptive discussion of this school’s artistic and historical relevances is likely to become standard reference for future explorations of recent literary developments in China.”—Sung-sheng Yvonne Chang, University of Texas at Austin
An anthology of translated short stories from Chinese writers of the 1980s. Authors considered “avant-garde” because work reflects the seriousness of revolutionary concerns, the disinterest in the progress of the Chinese nation and celebra
About the Author
Jing Wang is Associate Professor of Asian and African Languages and Literature at Duke University. She is the author of The Story of Stone, also published by Duke University Press, and of High Culture Fever: Politics, Aesthetics, and Ideology in Deng’s China.