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A Subversive Voice in China

A Subversive Voice in China

The Fictional World of Mo Yan

Mo Yan, the most prolific writer in present-day China as well as one of its most prominent avant-gardists, is an author whose literary works have enjoyed an enormous readership and have caught much critical attention not only in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan but also in many other countries around the world. This book provides the most comprehensive exposition of Mo Yan’s fiction in any language. Author Shelley Chan delves into Mo Yan’s entire collection of literary works, considering novels as well as short stories and novellas. In this analysis, Mo Yan’s works are dealt with in a diachronic fashion––Chan discusses the development of Mo Yan’s style throughout his career by considering themes that he has addressed in a variety of narratives over time. This provides the reader with valuable insight into understanding how individual narratives fit into the entire collection of Mo Yan’s body of literary work. Scholars will also welcome the book’s extensive reference to secondary scholarship and theory, which not only skillfully deals with the Chinese scholarship on Mo Yan but also thoroughly covers the English-language sources. This book on one of the most important figures in contemporary Chinese literary history will be a landmark resource for scholars in Asian studies, cultural studies, and literary criticism, as well as an enticing read for people interested in Chinese literature and historical fiction.  —Cambria Press

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Shelley Wing Chan
Cambria Press
December 2010

Author Bio

Shelley Wing Chan is an assistant professor of Chinese Language and Cultural Studies at Wittenberg University. She teaches courses in Chinese language, literature and culture. A graduate of Hong Kong Baptist University, she earned her Master’s degree in East Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Ph. D. in Comparative Literature and Humanities at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She specializes in modern and contemporary Chinese literature, culture, and language pedagogy.

She has also carried out research on Tang poetry and popular literature of the Ming Dynasty, and has studied and written about gender issues from a cross-cultural perspective. Professor Wing Chan wrote a dissertation on the fiction of Mo Yan, one of the most prominent contemporary writers in mainland China, and is the editor of a volume of his selected stories for a Hong Kong publisher. Her articles and translations have appeared in both the U.S. and Hong Kong.

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06.12.12

Eating Bitterness

MICHELLE DAMMON LOYALKA

Every year over 200 million peasants flock to China’s urban centers, providing a profusion of cheap labor that helps fuel the country’s staggering economic growth. Award-winning journalist Michelle Dammon Loyalka follows the trials and triumphs of eight such migrants—...

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05.22.12

Every Nation for Itself

IAN BREMMER

Forget the G-7 and the G-20; we are entering a leaderless "G- Zero" era—with profound implications for every country and corporation. The world power structure is facing a vacuum at the top. With the unifying urgency of the financial crisis behind us, the diverse political and...

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05.21.12

China Airborne

JAMES FALLOWS

More than two-thirds of the new airports under construction today are being built in China. Chinese airlines expect to triple their fleet size over the next decade and will account for the fastest-growing market for Boeing and Airbus. But the Chinese are determined to be more...

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05.11.12

Midnight in Peking

PAUL FRENCH

January, 1937: Peking is a heady mix of privilege and scandal, lavish cocktail bars and opium dens, warlords and corruption, rumors and superstition—and the clock is ticking down on all of it. In the exclusive Legation Quarter, the foreign residents wait nervously for the axe...

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05.11.12

Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom

STEPHEN R. PLATT

A gripping account of China’s nineteenth-century Taiping Rebellion, one of the largest civil wars in history, Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom brims with unforgettable characters and vivid re-creations of massive and often gruesome battles—a sweeping yet intimate portrait of...

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04.25.12

The Tree That Bleeds

NICK HOLDSTOCK

In 1997 a small town in a remote part of China was shaken by violent protests that led to the imposition of martial law. Some said it was a peaceful demonstration that was brutally suppressed by the government; others that it was an act of terrorism. When Nick Holdstock arrived...

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04.24.12

Changing Media, Changing China

SUSAN L. SHIRK (EDITOR)

Thirty years ago, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) made a fateful decision: to allow newspapers, magazines, television, and radio stations to compete in the marketplace instead of being financed exclusively by the government. The political and social implications of that...

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04.24.12

China: Fragile Superpower

SUSAN L. SHIRK

Once a sleeping giant, China today is the world's fastest growing economy—the leading manufacturer of cell phones, laptop computers, and digital cameras—a dramatic turn-around that alarms many Westerners. But in China: Fragile Superpower, Susan L. Shirk opens up the black box...

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04.24.12

The I-Ching

RICHARD J. SMITH

The I Ching originated in China as a divination manual more than three thousand years ago. In 136 BCE the emperor declared it a Confucian classic, and in the centuries that followed, this work had a profound influence on the philosophy, religion, art, literature, politics,...

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04.13.12

The End of Cheap China

SHAUN REIN

Many Americans know China for manufacturing cheap products, thanks largely to the country's vast supply of low-cost workers. But China is changing, and the glut of cheap labor that has made everyday low prices possible is drying up as the Chinese people seek not to make iPhones,...

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04.11.12

Protest with Chinese Characteristics

HO-FUNG HUNG

The origin of political modernity has long been tied to the Western history of protest and revolution, the currents of which many believe sparked popular dissent worldwide. Reviewing nearly one thousand instances of protest in China from the eighteenth to the early-nineteenth...

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03.29.12

The Gender of Memory

GAIL HERSHATTER

What can we learn about the Chinese revolution by placing a doubly marginalized group—rural women—at the center of the inquiry? In this book, Gail Hershatter explores changes in the lives of seventy-two elderly women in rural Shaanxi province during the revolutionary decades...

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03.28.12

What the U.S. Can Learn from China

ANN LEE

Mainstream media and the U.S. government regularly target China as a threat. Rather than viewing China’s power, influence, and contributions to the global economy in a negative light, Ann Lee asks: What can America learn from its competition? Why did China suffer so little from...

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03.08.12

Ballot Box China

KERRY BROWN

Since 1988, China has undergone one of the largest, but least understood experiments in grassroots democracy. Across 600,000 villages in China, with almost a million elections, some three million officials have been elected. The Chinese government believes that this is a step...

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03.06.12

Need, Speed, and Greed

VIJAY VAITHEESWARAN

World-renowned economist Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran provides a deeply insightful, brilliantly informed guide to the innovation revolution now transforming the world. With echoes of Clayton Christensen’s The Innovator’s Dilemma, Tim Brown’s Change by Design, and Jared Diamond’...

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03.02.12

Cinderella’s Sisters

DOROTHY Y. KO

The history of footbinding is full of contradictions and unexpected turns. The practice originated in the dance culture of China’s medieval court and spread to gentry families, brothels, maid’s quarters, and peasant households. Conventional views of footbinding as patriarchal...

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03.02.12

The Mongols and Global History

MORRIS ROSSABI

An accessible, documents-based introduction to the history of the Mongols. The volume opens with a brief original essay by Morris Rossabi, one of the world's foremost scholars on the Mongols. Rossabi's essay gives a historical and interpretive overview of the Mongols and charts...

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02.29.12

The Culture of War in China

JOANNA WALEY-COHEN

What particularly distinguished the Qing from other ruling houses in China's imperial period? In this pathbreaking book, Joanna Waley-Cohen overturns conventional wisdom to identify military power and an accompanying martial ethos as defining characteristics of the high Qing...

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02.27.12

Public Passions

EUGENIA LEAN

In 1935, a Chinese woman by the name of Shi Jianqiao murdered the notorious warlord Sun Chuanfang as he prayed in a Buddhist temple. This riveting work of history examines this well-publicized crime and the highly sensationalized trial of the killer. In a fascinating...

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02.16.12

Grounds of Judgment

PÄR KRISTOFFER CASSEL

Perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, the nineteenth century encounter between East Asia and the Western world has been narrated as a legal encounter. Commercial treaties—negotiated by diplomats and focused on trade—framed the relationships among Tokugawa-Meiji Japan...

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02.09.12

Mao Zedong and China in the Twentieth-Century World

REBECCA E. KARL

Throughout this lively and concise historical account of Mao Zedong’s life and thought, Rebecca E. Karl places the revolutionary leader’s personal experiences, social visions and theory, military strategies, and developmental and foreign policies in a dynamic narrative of the...

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02.03.12

The Wobbling Pivot

PAMELA KYLE CROSSLEY

This comprehensive but concise narrative of China since the eighteenth century builds its story around the delicate relationship between central government and local communities. With a nod to Ezra Pound's translation of the Chinese classic Zhongyong (The Unwobbling Pivot),...

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10.01.11

No Enemies, No Hatred

PERRY LINK (EDITOR)

When the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on December 10, 2010, its recipient, Liu Xiaobo, was in Jinzhou Prison, serving an eleven-year sentence for what Beijing called “incitement to subvert state power.” In Oslo, actress Liv Ullmann read a long statement the activist had...

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09.28.11

Columbia Anthology of Chinese Folk and Popular...

VICTOR H. MAIR

In The Columbia Anthology of Chinese Folk and Popular Literature, two of the world’s leading sinologists, Victor H. Mair and Mark Bender, capture the breadth of China’s oral-based literary heritage. This collection presents works drawn from the large body of oral literature...

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09.21.11

China: A History

HAROLD M. TANNER

Eminently accessible, yet rigorous, this engaging introduction to the political, social, and cultural development of Chinese civilization tells the story of China—from its beginnings to the present day—in a way that goes beyond simple, misleading accounts of a glorious...

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09.15.11

Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China

EZRA VOGEL

Perhaps no one in the twentieth century had a greater long-term impact on world history than Deng Xiaoping. And no scholar of contemporary East Asian history and culture is better qualified than Ezra Vogel to disentangle the many contradictions embodied in the life and legacy of...

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06.30.11

Ghetto at the Center of the World

GORDON MATHEWS

There is nowhere else in the world quite like Chungking Mansions, a dilapidated seventeen-story commercial and residential structure in the heart of Hong Kong’s tourist district. A remarkably motley group of people call the building home: Pakistani phone stall operators,...

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06.15.11

Chinese Shakespeares

ALEXANDER HUANG

For close to two hundred years, the ideas of Shakespeare have inspired incredible work in the literature, fiction, theater, and cinema of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. From the novels of Lao She and Lin Shu to Lu Xun's search for a Chinese "Shakespeare," and from Feng Xiaogang's...

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04.15.11

Tide Players

JIANYING ZHA

In Tide Players, acclaimed New Yorker contributor and author Jianying Zha depicts a new generation of movers and shakers who are transforming modern China. Through half a dozen sharply etched and nuanced profiles, Tide Players captures both the concrete detail and the epic...

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01.15.11

Sound and Script in Chinese Diaspora

JING TSU

What happens when language wars are not about hurling insults or quibbling over meanings, but are waged in the physical sounds and shapes of language itself? Native and foreign speakers, mother tongues and national languages, have jostled for distinction throughout the modern...

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12.10.10

Remapping the Past

HOWARD Y. F. CHOY

The most prominent literary phenomenon in the 1980s and 1990s in China, historical fiction, has never been systematically surveyed in Anglophone scholarship. This is the first investigation into how, by rewriting the past, writers of Deng Xiaoping’s reform era undermined the...

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12.01.10

Asian Literary Voices

PHILIP WILLIAMS

The essays in this collection give voice to a wide range of artists and writers from China, Japan, Korea, and India who to this day remain largely unknown or poorly understood in literary circles around the world. Contributors from Asia, Europe, and the United States cover a wide...

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12.01.10

Tea Horse Road

MICHAEL FREEMAN

One of the longest and most dramatic trade routes of the ancient world, the Tea Horse Road carried a crucial exchange for 13 centuries between China and Tibet. China needed war horses to protect its northern frontier, and Tibet could supply them. When the Tibetans discovered tea...

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11.01.10

Heart of Buddha, Heart of China

JAMES CARTER

The Buddhist monk Tanxu surmounted extraordinary obstacles—poverty, wars, famine, and foreign occupation—to become one of the most prominent monks in China, founding numerous temples and schools, and attracting crowds of students and disciples wherever he went. Now, in Heart...

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11.01.10

Coming to Terms with the Nation

THOMAS S. MULLANEY

China is a vast nation comprised of hundreds of distinct ethnic communities, each with its own language, history, and culture. Today the government of China recognizes just 56 ethnic nationalities, or minzu, as groups entitled to representation. This controversial new book...

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10.01.10

When a Billion Chinese Jump

JONATHAN WATTS

As a young child, Jonathan Watts believed if everyone in China jumped at the same time, the earth would be shaken off its axis, annihilating mankind. Now, more than thirty years later, as a correspondent for The Guardian in Beijing, he has discovered it is not only foolish little...

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09.15.10

China Marches West

PETER PERDUE

From about 1600 to 1800, the Qing empire of China expanded to unprecedented size. Through astute diplomacy, economic investment, and a series of ambitious military campaigns into the heart of Central Eurasia, the Manchu rulers defeated the Zunghar Mongols, and brought all of...

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08.01.10

Dreaming in Chinese

DEBORAH FALLOWS

Deborah Fallows has spent much of her life learning languages and traveling around the world. But nothing prepared her for the surprises of learning Mandarin, China's most common language, or the intensity of living in Shanghai and Beijing. Over time, she realized that her...

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04.15.10

Superstitious Regimes

REBECCA NEDOSTUP

We live in a world shaped by secularism—the separation of numinous power from political authority and religion from the political, social, and economic realms of public life. Not only has progress toward modernity often been equated with secularization, but when religion is...

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04.01.10

One Country, Two Societies

MARTIN K. WHYTE

This timely and important collection of original essays analyzes China’s foremost social cleavage: the rural-urban gap. It is now clear that the Chinese communist revolution, though professing dedication to an egalitarian society, in practice created a rural order akin to...

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04.01.10

Chinese Politics

STANLEY ROSEN

Written by a team of leading China scholars, this text interrogates the dynamics of state power and legitimation in 21st-century China. Despite the continuing economic successes and rising international prestige of China there has been increasing social protests over corruption,...

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04.01.10

Myth of the Social Volcano

MARTIN K. WHYTE

Is popular anger about rising inequality propelling China toward a "social volcano" of protest activity and instability that could challenge Chinese Communist Party rule? Many inside and outside of China have speculated, without evidence, that the answer is yes. In 2004, Harvard...

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04.01.10

Socialist Insecurity

MARK FRAZIER

Over the past two decades, China has rapidly increased its spending on its public pension programs, to the point that pension funding is one of the government's largest expenditures. Despite this, only about fifty million citizens—one-third of the country's population above the...

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04.01.10

China Road

ROB GIFFORD

Route 312 is the Chinese Route 66. It flows three thousand miles from east to west, passing through the factory towns of the coastal areas, through the rural heart of China, then up into the Gobi Desert, where it merges with the Old Silk Road. The highway witnesses every part of...

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04.01.10

China’s New Nationalism

PETER GRIES

Three American missiles hit the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and what Americans view as an appalling and tragic mistake, many Chinese see as a "barbaric" and intentional "criminal act," the latest in a long series of Western aggressions against China. In this book, Peter Hays...

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04.01.10

China’s Telecommunications Revolution

ERIC HARWIT

China's telecommunications industry has seen revolutionary transformation and growth over the past three decades. Chinese Internet users number nearly 150 million, and the P.R.C. expects to quickly pass the U.S. in total numbers of connected citizens. The number of mobile and...

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04.01.10

Between Heaven and Modernity

PETER CARROLL

Combining social, political, and cultural history, this book examines the contestation over space, history, and power in the late Qing and Republican-era reconstruction of the ancient capital of Suzhou as a modern city. Located fifty miles west of Shanghai, Suzhou has been...

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04.01.10

City of Heavenly Tranquility

JASPER BECKER

When the world descends on Beijing for the 2008 Olympics, it will find the results of a helter skelter rush for modernization and wealth. In the course of a thousand years, temples and shrines, palaces, and gardens had filled the walls of old Peking. Its narrow, twisting streets...

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03.15.10

Art, Politics and Commerce in Chinese Cinema

STANLEY ROSEN

Art, politics, and commerce are intertwined everywhere, but in China the interplay is explicit, intimate, and elemental, and nowhere more so than in the film industry. Understanding this interplay in the era of market reform and globalization is essential to understanding...

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03.01.10

China In the 21st Century

JEFFREY WASSERSTROM

The need to understand this global giant has never been more pressing: China is constantly in the news, yet conflicting impressions abound. Within one generation, China has transformed from an impoverished, repressive state into an economic and political powerhouse. In China in...

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03.01.10

Spectacle and Sacrifice

DAVID JOHNSON

This book is about the ritual world of a group of rural settlements in Shanxi province in pre-1949 North China. Temple festivals, with their giant processions, elaborate rituals, and operas, were the most important influence on the symbolic universe of ordinary villagers and...