What does it mean to read from elsewhere? Women Writers in Postsocialist China introduces readers to a range and variety of contemporary Chinese women’s writing, which has seen phenomenal growth in recent years. The book addresses the different ways women’s issues are understood in China and the West, attending to the processes of translation, adaptation, and the grafting of new ideas with existing Chinese understandings of gender, feminism, subjectivity, consumerism and (post) modernism. By focusing on women’s autobiographical, biographical, fictional and historical writing, the book engages in a transcultural flow of ideas between western and indigenous Chinese feminisms. Taking account of the accretions of social, cultural, geographic, literary, economic, and political movements and trends, cultural formations and ways of thinking, it asks how the texts and the concepts they negotiate might be understood in the social and cultural spaces within China and how they might be interpreted differently elsewhere in the global locations in which they circulate. The book argues that women-centred writing in China has a direct bearing on global feminist theory and practice. This critical study of selected genres and writers highlights the shifts in feminist perspectives within contemporary local and global cultural landscapes.
"This book is no doubt a timely and important study of the post-socialist cultural landscape through the lens of women writers. (…) the major achievement of the book is its ability to observe the shift from how writers of the 1980s had to have "a lofty educative object and to conform to the ideological concerns of the government"to how post-socialist female writers have successfully removed themselves from these shackles." - Leung Wing-fai, King’s College London
1. Introduction: Women Writers in Postsocialist China 2. Translations of the Self: Hong Ying's Daughter of the River and Summer of Betrayal 3. Narrative, Trauma and Memory: Chen Ran's A Private Life 4. Silence and the Silenced – Literary Renderings of Rural Women's Lives in and Beyond China: Lin Bai's Record of Women's Chatting, Sheng Keyi's Northern Girls, and Xinran's Transnational Interventions 5. 'Beauty Writers', Consumer Culture, and Global China: Wei Hui's Shanghai Baby, Mian Mian's Candy, and the Internet Generation 6. Revisiting the Twentieth Century: Zhang Yihe's Historical Memoirs and Chen Danyan's Shanghai Trilogy 7. Reconstructing the Past: Zhao Mei's Biography of Tang Dynasty Emperor, Woman: Wu Zetian 8. Epic Re-Visionings: Xu Xiaobin's Fabulist Tale, Feathered Serpent 9. Conclusion: New Desires, New Identities: Reorienting Literary and Gender Relations in and Beyond China