Publication Excerpt from Contemporary Taiwanese Women Writers

Stalling

The following is an excerpt from the introduction in Contemporary Taiwanese Women Writers, edited by Jonathan Stalling, Lin Tai-man, and Yanwing Leung.

A Pacific island of roughly 14,400 square miles, Taiwan lies just over a hundred miles off China’s southeast shoreline and seven hundred miles south of Japan. It has been a contested cultural space between its original aboriginal inhabitants (Taiyals and Vonums), and then among many generations of Chinese immigrants as well as waves of Dutch, Spanish, and Japanese colonial inhabitants, all of which provides the backdrop for some of the richest Sinophone literature in the world. Unfixed, vibrant, and deeply engaged with a sense of place, Taiwanese writers—from the experimental poetry pioneer Hsia Yu to younger multimedia poets like Ye Mimi to powerhouse authors like Li Ang and Chu T’ien-wen—are continually pushing the boundaries of the possible and unlocking new directions for Sinophone literature in the twenty-first century.

With this first American anthology of contemporary Taiwanese women writers in decades, the editors hope to expose English readers to the widest possible range of voices, styles, and textures of contemporary Taiwanese writers. In Ping Lu’s “Wedding Date,” we meet a wheelchair-bound mother who seems to get younger by the day as her filial daughter prematurely ages. A talented writer in her youth, the protagonist’s imagination imbues a possible romance with an intimacy that seems so real it almost becomes so, despite piling signs to the contrary. In “The Story of Hsiao-Pi,” by Newman Prize–winning author Chu T’ien-wen, the narrator lovingly examines the life of a troubled village boy, who builds an unexpected future upon the fierce if complicated love of his mother and step-father. Then Taiwan itself becomes the protagonist in Tsai Su-fen’s “Taipei Train Station,” where the station serves as an aperture through which numerous lives pass, if only briefly, into view before emerging into the boundless possibilities of the city.

Chung Wenyin recalls her first steps into literature and love through her story “The Travels and Lover of a Junior High Girl,” an adventure that explores the evolving ideas of love and the eros of art, and the open-ended possibilities of life itself. After being told by an amateur psychic that her not-yet-conceived son is following her around, waiting for his time to enter the world, the narrator of Marula Liu’s story “Baby, My Dear” begins to search for his father. Su Wei-chen, however, enters the traumatic space of a mother losing her daughter to leukemia in “No Time to Grow Up,” asking if children who die so young have had enough time to even know they are alive. Yuan Chiung-chiung traces the dynamic and transformative process of divorce, reinvention, and love through the story “A Place of One’s Own,” while Liao Hui-ying opens a window into class identity, fate, motherhood, and, ultimately, love in the context of an arranged marriage in “Seed of the Rape Plant.” Li Ang offers a tale of Taiwanese oppositional politics, personal sacrifice, and unrequited love in “The Devil in a Chastity Belt.” Chen Jo-hsi draws the collection to a close with a poignant vignette exposing the point where international politics and the dinner table meet, somewhere between the imagination and anticipation and the machinations of political power in her story “The Fish.”

Read the rave reviews for Contemporary Taiwanese Women Writers, which is available for purchase directly from Cambria Press or on Amazon.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Pi-twan Huang
Introduction: From Taiwan: Some of the Richest Sinophone Literature by Jonathan Stalling
Chapter 1: Wedding Date by Ping Lu
Chapter 2: The Story of Hsiao-Pi by Chu T’ien-wen
Chapter 3: The Party Girl by Lin Tai-man
Chapter 4: Taipei Train Station by Tsai Su-fen
Chapter 5: The Travels and Lover of a Junior High Girl by Chung Wenyin
Chapter 6: Baby, My Dear by Marula Liu
Chapter 7: No Time to Grow Up by Su Wei-chen
Chapter 8: A Place of One’s Own Yuan by Chiung-chiung
Chapter 9: Seed of the Rape Plant by Liao Hui-ying
Chapter 10: The Devil in a Chastity Belt by Li Ang
Chapter 11: The Fish by Jo-hsi Chen
About the Editors

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Cambria Press Publication Review: David Malouf and the Poetic

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Smith on another excellent review of her book, David Malouf and the Poetic: His Earlier Writings, this time by Australian Book Review.

David Malouf

The review notes that:

While not a biography per se, the book employs considerable biographical detail to good effect. … Smith covers this biographical record admirably, and uses it judiciously with regard to Malouf ’s published output. Her considerable original research, via interviews, diaries, letters, and drafts of Malouf ’s work is also put to good literary-critical use. In this respect, David Malouf and the Poetic is a major resource for any student of Malouf ’s work. … Smith’s approach – biographical and descriptive analysis – proves to be a powerful way to produce new insights into old works, a number of which (especially Johnno and An Imaginary Life) have already acquired a sizeable critical literature. … Happily, Smith’s study helps us to pay closer attention, in turn, to Malouf ’s important body of early work.

This book is in the Cambria Australian Literature Series, headed by Dr. Susan Lever.

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Cambria Press Publication Review: Chinese Avant-garde Fiction

Congratulations to Professor Zhansui Yu on the outstanding review of his book, Chinese Avant-garde Fiction: Quest for Historicity and Transcendent Truth, in China Quarterly.

Chinese Avant-Garde Fiction

 

The book review notes:

“The experimental literary production of the People’s Republic of China during the 1980s, which was freed from many of the aesthetic strictures of the Mao era, deserves more scholarly attention. Zhansui Yu’s monograph aims to help fill this gap by focusing on the avant-garde fiction of Su Tong, Yu Hua and Ge Fei. … This is one of few monographs on Chinese literature that features a sustained engagement with the thought of Martin Heidegger … He convincingly makes the case that the common themes between these writers warrant a collective analysis for them. Yu’s painstakingly thorough reading and research will reward those seeking a broad introduction to the wide oeuvre of these three writers. As such, the chapters serve as a suitable catalyst for debate and discussion in university classes that cover these authors, as many of their works have been translated. For Chinese scholars curious about the thought of Heidegger, this book provides a handy and useful introduction.”

This book is part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Title: Chinese Avant-garde Fiction: Quest for Historicity and Transcendent Truth
Author:
 Zhansui Yu
Publisher: Cambria Press
ISBN: 9781604979688
252 pp.  |   2017   |   Hardback & E-book
Book Webpage: http://www.cambriapress.com/books/9781604979688.cfm

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Cambria Press Publication Review – David Malouf and the Poetic: His Earlier Writings

Congratulations to Dr. Yvonne Smith on the excellent review of her book, David Malouf and the Poetic: His Earlier Writings!

#MLA18

The Australian praises “this carefully researched book, part of a series edited by academic Susan Lever, Smith considers what the idea of a ‘poetic imagination’ might mean, with the aim of offering ‘fresh insights into the nature of [Malouf’s] creativ­ity — its tensions, struggles, and moment­s of breakthrough, as well as its potential boundaries’.”

The review also notes that “Smith is a perceptive reader [and] offers close studies of a number of Malouf’s works including fiction and poetry against ‘the context from which they arose’. … There is a wealth of careful analysis here. … This engaging, accessible study will well serve students and teachers. … meticulously researched.”

This book is in the Cambria Australian Literature book series (Series editor: Susan Lever).

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#MLA18 Meet the Author Session: Christopher Lupke

Meet Dr. Christopher Lupke, Professor and Chair of the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Alberta; and author of the highly acclaimed The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien: Culture, Style, Voice, and Motion; on Friday (January 5) at 11:40 a.m. at the Cambria Press booth (101).

#MLA18

This book is in the Cambria Sinophone World Series headed by Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania) and the Cambria Global Performing Arts Series headed by John M. Clum (Duke University).

After the publication of his book, Dr. Lupke was invited to join the editorial board of the Cambria Sinophone World Series.

Given his experience as an author and editorial board member, this will be a great opportunity for #MLA18 attendees who have questions about his book and the publishing process (e.g., proposals, peer reviews, publication acceptance, etc.).

Dr. Lupke also sits on the editorial boards of PMLA, asia critique, Journal of Modern Literature in Chinese, CLT: Chinese Literature Today, Rocky Mountain Review, and Pacific Coast Philology.

Dr. Lupke will be participating in the following #MLA18 sessions:

 

 

 

#MLA18 Book Launch: The Monster as War Machine

Meet Dr. Mabel Moraña, William H. Gass Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and winner of the 2013 MLA Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize, on Saturday (January 6) at 11:30 a.m. at the Cambria Press booth (101) for a book signing for her latest book, The Monster as War Machine.

This book is in the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Dr. Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr.  de la Campa will also be at the booth to celebrate the publication of this new book.

Read excerpts of The Monster as War Machine.

#MLA18

Professor Moraña will be a speaker at the session “Theoretical Approaches to Colonial Latin American Studies” on Thursday (Jan 4) at 5:15 p.m. in the Lincoln Suite at the Hilton hotel.

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The Monster as War Machine – Book Excerpts

Cambria Press is proud to announce the publication of the new book, The Monster as War Machine, by by Mabel Moraña, William H. Gass Professor in Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis and winner of the 2013 MLA Katherine Singer Kovacs Prize. See below for excerpts from this book, which has been hailed as “a tour de force” and praised for being “audacious, erudite, and exquisitely written.”

Monster as War Machine

From the preface

An apparatus of social immunization, a simulacrum that spectacularizes its artificiality, a shifter that activates social dynamics, an assemblage that threatens the machinery of power, the monster symbolizes the heroic resistance of the slave and the sinister excesses of the master. Thus, it is essential to contextualize, even though it may seem fallacious, even the universality that the monster evokes in every one of its apparitions and attributes. In spite of its extreme empiria, and although it frequently lacks rationality and language, the monster is in its own way always philosophical. This book proceeds as a critical exercise that follows the meanderings of the monster’s “negative aesthetics.”

On Epistemophilia and the Performance of Difference

The nineteenth century was inhabited by ghosts and monsters that expressed dystopian fantasies about the possibility of unrestrained combinations of nature and technology. The anxiety that accompanied the ideology of progress, the turbulent culmination of the colonialist enterprise in the Americas, and the massive expansion of capitalism came to be sublimated through the monstrous. In this context, monstrosity constituted a discourse that directly addressed the tensions and exclusions of the social “order” of modernity in which forms of domination and social exclusion that began with colonialism were perpetuated and made into law. Processes like the scientific “rationalization” of the body were based on the demonization of otherness. These practices took the form of taxonomies of races and individuals that became part of the hierarchical and discriminatory imaginaries of infinite “progress” in modern capitalism. Monstrosity provided a visual and conceptual support for currents of thought that promoted privilege and exclusion based on naturalist criteria and supposedly demonstrable and unimpeachable truths. “Scientific racism” asserted the superiority of the Caucasian race within a highly influential technological structure that legitimated the political, economic, and cultural domination of societies thought to be savage, primitive, or barbarous. Forms of hybridity like mestizaje were interpreted as monstrous processes that promoted impurity and the degeneration of “pure” races.

On the Ubiquitous Quality of Monsters

For the monster, neither progress nor utopia nor purity of class, race, or gender exists, because its being consists of a contaminated material in which human qualities have been definitively or partially displaced, erased, or substituted by spurious, out-of-place characteristics. This ubiquitous quality constitutes the essence of the monster. The remains of its soul reside precisely in this ambiguous, fragile, and unstable condition. Zombies, vampires, pishtacos, chupacabras, demons, phantasms, and other representatives of the broad family tree that shares the characteristics of the monstrous or the supernatural are all beings that benefit from solitude and isolation. However, they also share, within their domains, family resemblances. The monster generates itself—regenerates, degenerates—mechanically, in order to survive as a distinct concentration of irrationality in a world ruled by monstrous but legitimated principles of exclusion and reification.

On the Age of Futilitarianism

Certain social, economic, and political conditions nonetheless seem to be a breeding ground for the proliferation of monstrosity, which is expressed both in concrete fears such as the desperation of being trapped, or the disconcerting awareness of horizons that open up a landscape of disorienting freedom that manifests as a foreign, ghostly place. According to the Comaroffs, we are now in “the Age of Futilitarianism”—that is, an era in which all hope is thought to be vain and all effort is considered futile …

The Monster as War Machine is in the Cambria Latin American Literatures and Cultures Series headed by Román de la Campa, the Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages at the University of Pennsylvania.

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