Modern Chinese Women Writers: Critical Appraisals

Modern Chinese Women Writers: Critical Appraisals

Modern Chinese Women Writers: Critical Appraisals

Modern Chinese Women Writers: Critical Appraisals


The essays in this volume consider the state of current writing of the world's best Chinese women writers. All the contributors relate their authors to the life and work of other contemporary Chinese women writers, and compare work coming from PRC, Taiwan and overseas Chinese. The essays make a contribution to the fields of Modern Chinese literature and women's studies, and although they are primarily intended to bear witness to the quality of women's writing, they also attempt to elucidate the complex issues of Chinese women's lives in the contemporary world.


A woman's writing is always feminine; it cannot help
being feminine; at its best it is most feminine; the
only difficulty lies in defining what we mean by

Virginia Woolf

Who can tell me? Who can tell me? Did we changethe world, or did the world change me and you?Taiwan popular song1

Although many contemporary Chinese writers who happen to be womenmight agree with novelist Cynthia Ozick's passionate assertion that the term"woman writer" is meaningless, nevertheless, it remains a fact of Chinese socialand linguistic reality that the term zuojia [writer] by itself is not generally applied to women writers; they are customarily referred to as nü-zuojia [femalewriter] even in books that are edited by women.2 Indeed, the chief justificationof this anthology of critical essays in English on modern Chinese women writers and their works is the tremendous increase in the quantity and quality ofwriting by women in Chinese in the past decade.3 During this same decade, theposition of women in contemporary Chinese society has once again become animportant subject for western scholarship and most of it has been revisionist. Aspate of books based both on fieldwork and textual studies has appeared recentlywith the basic theme that socialism and patriarchy exist in stable harmony in thePeople's Republic in the 1980s; that women's lives continue to be primarily . . .

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