1st Edition

Reading China Against the Grain Imagining Communities

Edited By Carlos Rojas, Mei-hwa Sung Copyright 2021
    254 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    254 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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

    Mei-hwa Sung

    2. Unattainable Maturity: Yu Hua’s Cries in the Drizzle as an Anti-Bildungsroman

    XU Xi

    3. Frankenstein vs. Dracula: Romanticisms and the Ideologies of Poetry in Contemporary China

    Lucas Klein

    4. Fanhua, Global Modernism, and the Art of Detachment

    Wen Jin

    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

    Mei Chia-ling

    Part III: The Global Chinese Diaspora

    9. Tales Out of School: Campus Fiction from Taiwan

    Mary Goodwin

    10. The Practice of Annotation and Translation in Qiu Xiaolong’s Inspector Chen Mysteries

    Charles Lowe

    11. From "Chinese Diaspora" to "Sinospore": Multispecies Chineseness and Transmemory in Larissa Lai’s Salt Fish Girl

    Belinda Kong

    12. Xiaolu Guo’s I Am China: On Copulas and Copulation

    Carlos Rojas


    Carlos Rojas is Professor of Chinese Cultural Studies; Genders, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies; and Arts of the Moving Image at Duke University. He is the author, editor, and translator of numerous books on global Chinese literature and culture.

    Mei-hwa Sung received her PhD in English from Brown University in 1983 and has taught at National Taiwan University, Tamkang University, and Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College (UIC). She has a long record of professional service, including the editorship of Chung-Wai Literary Monthly and Tamkang Review. She has published essays and books on eighteenth-century English literature, gender studies, and Taiwan fiction.