Synopses & Reviews
The past few years have seen a burgeoning effort to rethink questions of women, writing, and gender in modern China. A significant body of scholarship has emerged, transforming the ways in which modern Chinese literature and culture are taught and discussed.
Writing Women in Modern China introduces the works of less familiar women writers of the first three decades of this century along with new selections by more prominent authors from the late Qing (c.1890-1911) through the SinoJapanese War. These twenty-two works of fiction, drama, autobiography, essays, and poetry, each newly translated and prefaced by the author's photograph and a short biographical sketch, introduce women whose literary careers coincided with an era of tremendous social, political, and cultural turbulence.
This book begins with an essay charting major developments in the study of gender, literature, and women's writing in China, as well as historical background information. From Chen Hengzhe's seminal short story One Day, the first piece of literature in modern vernacular Chinese, to Feng Yuanjun's story Separation, which examines the conflict between traditional filial obligation and modern marriage based on love, Writing Women in Modern China offers an unrivaled opportunity to explore an important body of imaginative works.
"Writing Women in Modern China: The Revolutionary Years, 1936-1976 contains an impressive selection of literary works by twelve female authors. The collection includes mainstream writers and lesser-known authors, writing in genres ranging from autobiographical essay and memoir to literary reportage, short story, and drama. The authentic voices, along with the feminist discourse, that emerge from these works powerfully illuminate the complex personal, social, and national forces shaping womens lives. Amy D. Doolings informative introduction explains the historical and political context of the selected works and compares the authors'various concerns. The translations are highly readable and literary scholars and general readers alike will welcome this original collection."
Yenna Wu, professor of Chinese and director of Asian Languages & Civilizations Program, University of California, Riverside
"This stunning collection is not just a great read and a revealing study of gender and the human condition, it will also transform our understanding of which works are important in the period. These writers are independent, observant, profound, and often hilarious. Doolings anthology finally gives them their due. "
Jingyuan Zhang, Georgetown University, author of Psychoanalysis in China: Literary Transformations, 1919-1949
From succinct reportage of contemporary historical circumstances to comic accounts of twentieth-century urban living to carefully stylized modernist works of fiction, the selections in this anthology reflect the diversity, liveliness, humor, and surprising cosmopolitanism of women's writing from the period. This collection also reveals the ways in which women writers imagined and inscribed new meanings to Chinese feminism. Also included are biographical information on the writers, bibliographical materials, and a critical introduction by Dooling.
Revolution, foreign occupation, and political, cultural, and economic upheavals defined mid-twentieth-century Chinese society. This new anthology, a sequel to the acclaimed first volume, compiled by Dooling and Kristina Torgeson and covering the early twentieth century, includes an impressive range of literary, personal, and journalistic responses to these tumultuous events. From succinct reportage of contemporary historical circumstances to comic accounts of twentieth-century urban living to carefully stylized modernist works of fiction, the selections in this anthology reflect the diversity, liveliness, humor, and surprising cosmopolitanism of women's writing from the period. This collection also reveals the ways in which women writers imagined and inscribed new meanings to Chinese feminism.
Biographical information on the writers -- including Yang Gang, Bai Wei, Hu Lanxi, Yang Jiang, Zong Pu, Chen Ruoxi, and others -- introduces the selections from their works. Dooling's critical introduction and bibliographical materials further enrich readers'understanding of the role of women's writing in Chinese literary modernity.
Table of Contents
Yang Gang / Fragment from a Lost Diary (1936), translated by the author
Yang Gang / The American South (1951), translated by Robin Visser
Bai Wei / Third-Class Hospital Ward (1936), translated by Amy Dooling
Hu Lanqi / In a German Women's Prison (1937), translated by Hu Mingliang
Chen Xuezhao / The Essentials and Ambiance of Life (1940), translated by Shu Yunzhong
Crossing the Tong-Pu Railroad (1949), translated by Shu Yunzhong
Xie Bingying / The Girl Umeko (1941), translated by Hu Mingliang
Yang Jiang / Forging the Truth (1944), translated by Amy Dooling
Su Qing / Waves (1945), translated by Cathy Silber
Fengzi / The Portrait (1947), translated by Ann Huss
Lu Xiaoman / The Imperial Hotel (1947), translated by Amy Dooling
Zong Pu / Red Beans (1957), translated by Geremie Barme
Ru Zhijuan / The Warmth of Spring (1959), translated by Sabina Knight
Chen Ruoxi / Residency Check (1976), translated by Howard Goldblatt