Literary Representations of “Mainlanders” in Taiwan
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This book examines literary representations of mainlander identity articulated by Taiwan’s second-generation mainlander writers, who share the common feature of emotional ambivalence between Taiwan and China.
Closely analyzing literary narratives of Chinese civil war migrants and their descendants in Taiwan, a group referred to as "mainlanders" (waishengren), this book demonstrates that these Chinese migrants’ ideas of "China" and "Chineseness" have adapted through time with their gradual settlement in the host land. Drawing upon theories of Sinophone Studies and memory studies, this book argues that during the three decades in which Taiwan moved away from the Kuomintang’s authoritarian rule to a democratic society, mainlander identity was narrated as a transformation from a diasporic Chinese identity to a more fluid and elusive Sinophone identity. Characterized by the features of cultural hybridity and emotional in-betweenness, mainlander identity in the eight works explored contests the existing Sinocentric discourse of Chineseness.
An important contribution to the current research on Taiwan’s identity politics, this book will be of interest to academics in the field of Taiwan studies, Sinophone studies, Chinese migration, and Taiwanese literature as well as Chinese literature in general.
Table of Contents
Introduction: What’s in a Name?: Second-generation Mainlander Writing as a Genre
1. Constructing the Mainlander: Self, Other, and Homeland in Chu Tien-hsin’s Everlasting (未了) and Yuan Chiung-chiung’s This Love, This Life (今生緣)
2. Seeking a New Identity: Su Wei-chen’s Leaving Tongfang (離開同方) and Chu Tien-hsin’s "In Remembrance of My Buddies from the Military Compound" (想我眷村的兄弟們)
3. In Quest of the Absent Mainlander Father: Family, History, and Mainlander Identity in Hao Yu-hsiang’s The Inn (逆旅) and Lo Yi-chin’s The Moon Clan (月球姓氏)
4. Inventing a Taiwanized Juancun: Lai Sheng-chuan and Wang Wei-chung’s The Village (寶島一村)
5. Happily Ever After?: Homecoming and Mainlander Identity in Chiang Hsiao-yun’s Peach Blossom Well (桃花井)
Conclusion and Epilogue: "Mainlander" as an Identity of In-betweenness
Phyllis Yu-ting Huang is Sessional Lecturer at the University of Melbourne, Australia.