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Herself an Autobiographer: Writing Women’s Self-Representation in the Qing

Herself an Autobiographer: Writing Women’s Self-Representation in the Qing Feature Binbin Yang. Heroines of the Qing: Exemplary Women Tell Their Stories. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2016. xiii, 248 pp. Hardcover $50.00, isbn 978-0-295-99549-6. Since the 1990s, much work has been done to debunk the monolithic image of the victimized premodern Chinese woman propagated by the May Fourth generation. The works of Susan Man, Dorothy Ko, and Kang-I Sun Chang, among others, have effectively recuperated historical female subjectivity and agency by uncovering how Chinese women negotiated, contested, and transcended gender norms and prevailing ideologies. Grace Fong's seminal monograph Herself an Author: Gender, Agency, and Writing in Late Imperial China (2008) explores how women constituted multiple "subject positions" in the process of writing through their extrafamilial identities as authors, compilers, chroniclers, and critics.1 Both a resonance and extension of this recuperative trend in the scholarship, Binbin Yang's newly published monograph Heroines of the Qing: Exemplary Women Tell Their Stories might well have been titled Herself an Autobiographer in recognition of its debt to and development of Fong's book. Focusing on women's autobiographical impulse in diverse artistic and literary genres -- including poetry, painting, colophons, inscriptions, genealogies, family letters, and medical treatises -- Yang argues that many exemplary women http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png China Review International University of Hawai'I Press

Herself an Autobiographer: Writing Women’s Self-Representation in the Qing

China Review International , Volume 22 (2) – Jul 6, 2015

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University of Hawai'I Press
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Copyright © University of Hawai'i Press.
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Abstract

Feature Binbin Yang. Heroines of the Qing: Exemplary Women Tell Their Stories. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2016. xiii, 248 pp. Hardcover $50.00, isbn 978-0-295-99549-6. Since the 1990s, much work has been done to debunk the monolithic image of the victimized premodern Chinese woman propagated by the May Fourth generation. The works of Susan Man, Dorothy Ko, and Kang-I Sun Chang, among others, have effectively recuperated historical female subjectivity and agency by uncovering how Chinese women negotiated, contested, and transcended gender norms and prevailing ideologies. Grace Fong's seminal monograph Herself an Author: Gender, Agency, and Writing in Late Imperial China (2008) explores how women constituted multiple "subject positions" in the process of writing through their extrafamilial identities as authors, compilers, chroniclers, and critics.1 Both a resonance and extension of this recuperative trend in the scholarship, Binbin Yang's newly published monograph Heroines of the Qing: Exemplary Women Tell Their Stories might well have been titled Herself an Autobiographer in recognition of its debt to and development of Fong's book. Focusing on women's autobiographical impulse in diverse artistic and literary genres -- including poetry, painting, colophons, inscriptions, genealogies, family letters, and medical treatises -- Yang argues that many exemplary women

Journal

China Review InternationalUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Jul 6, 2015

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