Women and Writing in Modern China

Synopsis

Analyzing the protracted cultural debate in modern China over what and how women should write, this book focuses on two concepts of great importance in Chinese literary modernization - the new, liberated woman and the new, autonomous writing. The author argues that in many modernizing countries traditional constrictions of women became a focus of struggle, and improvements in the treatment of women were considered a sign of national health. In China, however, the traditional emphasis on female virtue and male talent led to protests by women writers against the virtuous woman. Their writings emphasized not the modernizing virtues of equality in love and marriage, nor the mother as educator of a generation of nation-builders, but unconventional relationships and the refusal to marry.