Through an analysis of a wide array of contemporary Chinese literature from inside and outside of China, this volume considers some of the ways in which China and Chineseness are understood and imagined.
Using the central theme of the way in which literature has the potential to both reinforce and to undermine a national imaginary, the volume contains chapters offering new perspectives on well-known authors, from Jin Yucheng to Nobel Prize winning Mo Yan, as well as chapters focusing on authors rarely included in discussions of contemporary Chinese literature, such as the expatriate authors Larissa Lai and Xiaolu Guo. The volume is complemented by chapters covering more marginalized literary figures throughout history, such as Macau-born poet Yiling, the Malaysian-born novelist Zhang Guixing, and the ethnically Korean author Kim Hak-ch’ŏl. Invested in issues ranging from identity and representation, to translation and grammar, it is one of the few publications of its kind devoting comparable attention to authors from Mainland China, authors from Manchuria, Macau, and Taiwan, and throughout the global Chinese diaspora.
Reading China Against the Grain: Imagining Communities is a rich resource of literary criticism for students and scholars of Chinese studies, sinophone studies, and comparative literature
Part 1: Mainland China
1. Allegorizing History: Realism and Fantasy in Mo Yan’s Fictional China
2. Unattainable Maturity: Yu Hua’s Cries in the Drizzle as an Anti-Bildungsroman
3. Frankenstein vs. Dracula: Romanticisms and the Ideologies of Poetry in Contemporary China
4. Fanhua, Global Modernism, and the Art of Detachment
Part 2: Border Regions
5. Wolf Totem: An Allegory of the Future
Q. S. Tong
6. Writing the Motherland(s) on Their Borders: Kim Hak-ch’ŏl and His Cultural Criticism of Maoist China
Miya Qiong Xie
7. Keeping to the Margins: Macau Literature and a Pre-postcolonial "Poetics of Insignificance"
Rosa Vieira de Almeida
8. Explaining "Graphs" and Analyzing "Characters": Zhang Guixing’s Novels and Sinophone Literature’s Cultural Imaginings and Representational Strategies
Part III: The Global Chinese Diaspora
9. Tales Out of School: Campus Fiction from Taiwan
10. The Practice of Annotation and Translation in Qiu Xiaolong’s Inspector Chen Mysteries
11. From "Chinese Diaspora" to "Sinospore": Multispecies Chineseness and Transmemory in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl
12. Xiaolu Guo’s I Am China: On Copulas and Copulation