Dragonflies: Fiction by Chinese Women in the Twentieth Century

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Shu-ning Sciban, Fred Edwards
East Asia Program, Cornell University, 2003 - Literary Collections - 226 pages
Dragonflies is an anthology containing twelve selections ranging from short stories to novellas, and spans the century from the May Fourth Movement to the 1990s. The eleven authors represented are Ling Shuhua, Bing Xin, Zhang Ailing, Wei Junyi, Kang Yunwei, Ping Lu, Liao Huiying, Chi Li, Jiang Zidan, Wang Anyi, and Xi Xi. Rather than focusing on revolutionary or heroic role-models, the selected works portray women struggling to deal with the conflicting demands of tradition and modernity in a rapidly changing society. The most recent story in the collection, Wang Anyi's coolly analytical but heartbreaking "Sisters" (1996), illustrates the persistence of traditional social norms, while Jiang Zidan's "Waiting for Dusk" (1990) depicts a woman oppressed by nature itself. The introductory essay by Shu-ning Sciban traces the evolution of fiction by women writers in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong during the twentieth century. Dragonflies will appeal to readers with an interest in modern China, Chinese literature and gender studies.

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Zhang Ailing
Wei Junyi

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