Personal Matters: Women's Autobiographical Practice in Twentieth-century China (Hardback)

by Lingzhen Wang

Format: Hardback 296 pages

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This book offers an interdisciplinary approach to women's autobiographical writing in twentieth-century China. The author applies feminist insights to works by such well-known authors as Qiu Jin, Bing Xin, Ding Ling, and Wang Anyi and to works by other, lesser-known writers. Throughout, these writings are analyzed in relation to the discourses of modernity - nationalism, revolution, socialism, and market commodification - that have dominated modern China. The book emphasizes aspects of women's experience, especially their subjective, emotional, psychic, and bodily activities, that tend to be dismissed in mainstream discourses and orthodox studies of history and literature. The result is a new understanding of how women have negotiated their lives through autobiographical writing and struggled to carve out a place of their own in modern China. In turn, this study generates new insights into the gendered version of modern history, writing, and self.

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Stanford University Press


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