Jumping through Hoops: Autobiographical Stories by Modern Chinese Women Writers

By Jing M. Wang; Shirely Chang | Go to book overview

Imprints of Life

Chu Wenjuan
Translated by Jing M. Wang

Chu Wenjuan (1907–1), also known under the pen name Xiao
Yu, was a native of Zhejiang, China. She moved to Taiwan
before 1949. Collections of her writings include
Female Juror
(Nü pei shen yuan, 1929), Filial Gratitude (Cun cao xin,
1947), and
Spring Remains When Petals Have Fallen
(Hua luo chun you zai, 1977).

Lost times have gradually evaporated from my memory like a thin cloud and a light fog. Yet the sadness and joy remain. The leftover traces weave into the fabric of my current thoughts like delicate threads, making a blurred and misty picture. If I spread out this picture and take a look at it, I may not necessarily find it beautiful. On the contrary, part of it still bleeds.


I. I Was Unwanted

In the northeast of Zhejiang province, there was a misty lake named Mandarin Duck Lake. By the lake lived an extended family of literary and official renown. One clear autumn evening in the late Qing dynasty, the seventh daughter was born into this family. The father held her little head and asked angrily: “Why did you come here?” The little head could not answer him. The infant was not received with love but with disappointment and disgust. The mother could barely tolerate the infant at her breast.

As people teased me with the story of my birth much later in life, I always remember it. It planted the root of skepticism in my young mind.

-75-

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Jumping through Hoops: Autobiographical Stories by Modern Chinese Women Writers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • About the Translators ix
  • Introduction 1
  • How I Left My Mother 25
  • Jumping through Hoops 43
  • Imprints of Life 75
  • A Journey of Twenty-Seven Years 93
  • A Brief Autobiography 139
  • Midpoint of an Ordinary Life 151
  • My Autobiography 167
  • Can This Also Be Called An - Autobiography? 189
  • Self-Criticism and Self- - Encouragement- A Short Autobiography of a Journalist 197
  • Notes 203
  • Glossary 223
  • Bibliography 237
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