Essential Books for Taiwan Studies

The following are essential books for Taiwan Studies. The first three have just been published in the new Literature from Taiwan Series, in collaboration with the National Museum of Taiwan Literature and National Taiwan Normal University.

A Taiwanese Literature Reader

edited by Nikky Lin

Taiwanese Literature Reader Front Cover

According to Taiwanese writer and historian Ye Shitao (see next book), the development of Taiwanese literature during Japanese occupation can be divided into three stages: the “nascent period” (1920–1925), followed by the “mature period” (1926–1937), and finally the “war period” (1937–1945). The six stories in this collection are representative works from the mature period and the war period. Each story depicts different hardships and predicaments faced by Taiwan as a colony under Japanese rule, offering insight into how this part of Taiwan’s history continues to impact contemporary Taiwanese society. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

A History of Taiwan Literature

by Ye Shitao; translated by Christopher Lupke

Lupke Ye Shitao Front Cover

A History of Taiwan Literature by Ye Shitao, an important public intellectual in Taiwan, was published in the crucial watershed year of 1987 when the end of martial law on the island was signaled. This is arguably one of the most important intellectual works of literary history, made even more impressive by Ye’s inclusion of copious notes, including Japanese-language ones. In this translation, Christopher Lupke has painstakingly translated both Ye’s main text and notes, making this valuable resource available to English readers for the first time. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

The Soul of Jade Mountain

by Husluman Vava; translated by Terence Russell

Soul of Jade Mountain Front Cover

Ethnographic novels, such as The Soul of Jade Mountain (Yushan hun) by Bunun writer Husluman Vava (1958–2007), have been an important tool in the process of bringing the circumstances of Indigenous people to the attention of mainstream audiences. Vava’s novel The Soul of Jade Mountain won the 2007 Taiwan Literature Award for the best novel, and this is the first English translation of an ethnographic novel by a Taiwan Indigenous writer to be published by a North American publisher, marking an important step in bringing Indigenous Taiwan to international audiences. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

Contemporary Taiwanese Women Writers

edited by Jonathan Stalling, Lin Tai-man, and Yanwing Leung

Stalling

With this first English-language anthology of contemporary Taiwanese women writers in decades, readers are finally provided with a window to the widest possible range of voices, styles, and textures of contemporary Taiwanese women writers. The quality and diversity of the stories in this anthology are representative of the work produced by the Taipei Chinese PEN, which curates, translates, and publishes the best Chinese Literature from Taiwan since its founding in 1972.  Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

The Sinophone Cinema of
Hou Hsiao-hsien

Christopher Lupke

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Christopher Lupke’s book is a comprehensive treatment of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s entire oeuvre, including The Assassin. Lupke was able to visit the set of The Assassin and includes rare photos of Hou on his film set. In addition to a detailed filmography and a substantial bibliography, the book also contains interviews with Hou Hsiao-hsien. This book is a must read for all interested in global cinema. It is valuable for those interested in the society and politics of postwar Taiwan and Sinophone culture in general. It will appeal to readers concerned with issues such as the representation of ethnicity, gender, political repression, and the tensions between cities and the countryside. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond

Chia-rong Wu

Supernatural Sinophone TaiwanWhile reexamining the cultural and political complexities of Sinophone Taiwan, this book recognizes the narrative of the strange as a widely adopted artistic form in highlighting Sinophone practices and experiences separated from the China-centric ideology. The study argues that the narratives of the strange in Sinophone Taiwan cross the boundaries between the living and the dead as well as the past and the present, in response to a pastiche of phantasm, Chinese diaspora, gender discourse, and transnational politics. Save 30% on the print edition (use coupon code AAS2020) by ordering here.

 

Remapping the Contested Sinosphere

Chia-rong Wu

Wu Chia-rong Cover

FORTHCOMING AUGUST 2020

Taiwan has long been regarded as a supplementary addition to its cultural Other: China, Japan, or imperial Western powers. To create a self-claimed subjectivity, Taiwan’s localist camp has been promoting the Taiwanese consciousness via political movements and literary writings in a century-long campaign. To examine the literary expressions of Taiwan through any singular conceptual lens, such as postcolonaility and transnationalism, would be far too limiting. As such, this book reconsiders both the (trans)localist agenda and the post-loyalist discourse in the contested Sinophone arena.

 

Locating Taiwan Cinema in the
Twenty-First Century

edited by Paul G. Pickowicz and Yingjin Zhang

Pickowicz-Zhang Front Cover

FORTHCOMING AUGUST 2020

This book is a much-needed study that takes the study of Taiwan cinema out of the late-twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. This is the first book to take a multidisciplinary approach to an evaluation of recent Taiwan film. It features a team of cultural studies, social science, and history specialists who use differing film materials and methodologies to analyze the ways in which filmmakers deal with the evolution of Taiwan’s society, economy and culture in the new century. 

 

Cambria Cloud Women

Professors, make going remote easy by assigning this book for readings through the Cambria Book Cloud, which allows for affordable semester-long 24/7 access to multiple books (even the entire Cambria Sinophone World Series) anywhere through web browser. Students are able to read titles on their phone, tables, laptops, or desktops.

 

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AAS 2020 Virtual Book Exhibit

Welcome to our AAS 2020 virtual book exhibit! Below are the new titles that would have been released at the AAS conference. These were also featured on the outside back cover of the AAS 2020 conference program. Save 30% on the print edition of all titles if you order directly from the Cambria Press website and use the coupon code AAS2020.

At the AAS conference, we were going to launch the Cambria Book Cloud for going remote. Now this effective teaching and learning solution has become all the more important. With the Cambria Book Cloud, professors can assign pages or chapters from multiple books—or even entire books—from our collection to their students for a low, flat fee for semester-long access. During the semester, students will be able to access multiple books via any web browser; they can read the material on their smart phones, iPads, laptops, desktops. Professors can sign up here for their free trial access.

NEW TITLES

Cambria Sinophone World Series

Letty Chen Front Cover

The Great Leap Backward
Forgetting and Representing the Mao Years
Lingchei Letty Chen

“Letty Chen has done magnificent work in looking into the art and politics of remembering, and re-membering, the Maoist era—its fanatic causes, its violent episodes, and its traumatic consequences. With sources drawn from fictional and biographical narratives, she identifies ideological and affective contestations, and ponders the possibilities of inscribing the immemorial and unthinkable. Both historically engaged and theoretically provocative, Chen’s book is a timely intervention with the prevailing narrative of the Chinese Dream. The Great Leap Backward is a compelling reference for anyone interested in memory studies, Chinese and comparative literature, and cultural and political history.”

—David Der-wei Wang,
Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese Literature,
Harvard University

Allen Front Cover

The Chinese Lyric Sequence
Poems, Paintings, Anthologies
Joseph R. Allen

“This book is the first attempt to discuss, in both theoretical and concrete terms, the historical development of an important but decidedly understudied Chinese literary form, the poetic sequence (zushi). The poetic sequence is an important form in the Chinese tradition, as it allows the poet to build a complex argument in poetic form about an issue, an experience, or a phenomenon in life. This book is the first English-language monograph to discuss the poetic sequence in the context of the historical development of this art form as a whole, and the connection made between the poetic sequence and album leaves is thought-provoking. Each chapter contains many inspired and inspiring analyses of individual texts. The writing is lucid and accessible, and the book is a great pleasure to read from beginning to end. This book will be invaluable for both specialists in the field of Chinese literature and general readers who are interested in Chinese poetry and aesthetics; it will be essential reading for scholars and students in classical Chinese literature, cultural history, and art history.”

—Tian Xiaofei, Professor of Chinese Literature, Harvard University

Rethinking Sinosphere Front Cover

Rethinking the Sinosphere
Poetics, Aesthetics, and Identity Formation
by Nanxiu Qian, Richard J. Smith, and
Bowei Zhang, eds.

Rethinking the Sinosphere signifies a landmark in the study of cultural interaction in East Asia in two senses. First, it tells the story that literary Sinitic has served as the platform of personal and historical connections in East Asia. Through several case studies, the book affirms that the Chinese characters are the common dominator of the Sinosphere. Secondly, it is a well-knitted tapestry in which the personal, historical, poetic and aesthetic dimensions of cultural interaction in East Asia interweave with one another. This book is a most important source for anyone interested in East Asian studies.”

—Chun-chieh Huang, Distinguished Chair Professor,
National Taiwan University

Reexamining Sinosphere Front Cover

Reexamining the Sinosphere
Transmissions and Transformations
in East Asia

by Nanxiu Qian, Richard J. Smith, and
Bowei Zhang, eds.

Reexamining the Sinosphere is an excellent and much-needed book that explores the various aspects of the concept of Sinosphere with a wealth of textual examples and on the basis of rich and multifaceted contemporary scholarship. The volume puts together a fine group of essays that discuss issues of cultural transmissions and transformations in East Asia and contribute to our understanding by raising important questions as much as by providing answers. This is a volume that stimulates our rethinking of the Sinosphere and will be essential reading for anyone interested in the historical relations of East Asian countries and how this regional concept may be relevant to the reality of our world today. I highly recommend it.”

—Zhang Longxi,
Chair Professor of Comparative Literature and Translation,
City University of Hong Kong

Peng Front Cover

Metalworking in Bronze Age China
The Lost-Wax Process
Peng Peng

“In pre-imperial China, lost-wax casting was very rarely used. As the identification of the technique has generated lively debates among specialists, some disputing the possibility of its use, a comprehensive investigation of its history is long overdue. For the first time, through the careful investigation of Professor Peng we have with this well-researched book a complete state-of-the-field report on this issue.”

—Alain Thote, Directeur d’études, École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris

Burnett Front Cover

Shaping Chinese Art History
Pang Yuanji and His Painting Collection
Katharine P. Burnett

“This comprehensive and engaging study for the first time brings into focus the full range of activities of the great collector Pang Yuanji, giving us a picture of a crucial figure in the field of Chinese art history. By situating him within a number of relevant frameworks as collector, businessman, and philanthropist, this book helps us better understand the key role which the art of the past played in the making of a modern China.

—Craig Clunas, FBA,
Professor Emeritus of the History of Art, Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford

See the entire list of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, which is headed by Professor Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

New in Japan Studies

Traphagan Front Cover

Cosmopolitan Rurality, Depopulation, and Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in 21st-Century Japan
John W. Traphagan

“A very engaging and thoughtful work that will be of great interest to Japan scholars and to any social scientists with a concern for conditions of life in contemporary rural regions in many of the advanced industrial societies. This is a book about entrepreneurship, depopulation, and the nature of the contemporary rural. Each of these is of broad and comparative significance. The Japanese countryside doesn’t look like the countryside of the sentimental imagination; it is a complex hybrid formation, much as we find in Europe and North America, giving the case a wide salience. Depopulation is a shorthand for several related trends of much consequence: population decline, yes, but rapid aging of the population and significant marriage delay, declining births, and solo living. This too is a feature of the rest of the “developed” world, but Japan’s trends are among the most advanced and there is much to learn from a judicious account such as this book. This is an impressive book, which should gain an enthusiastic and appreciative readership.”

—William Kelly,
Professor of Anthropology and Sumitomo Professor of Japanese Studies,
Yale University

Morgan Front Cover

Law and Society in Imperial Japan
Suehiro Izutaro and the Search for Equity
Jason Morgan

“A first-rate scholarly work that is an important contribution to understanding Japan’s legal and wartime history, especially the nature of tenko (ideological conversion during wartime Japan). Not only is this book the first serious study of Suehiro Izutaro in English, but it is also a profound analysis of the the development of law (labor law espcially) in Imperial Japan, and more broadly the impact of Suehiro’s case-study approach on Japanese law today. Built on primary sources in Japanese and other languages, the bibliography is exhaustive and will be valuable in itself as a guide to the field. There is much to learn from this book, including important lessons about the nature of wartime Japanese society and politics.”

— Kevin M. Doak, Professor and Nippon Foundation Endowed Chair;
and Chair, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Georgetown University

NEW! Literature from Taiwan Series

Cambria Press is proud to announce a new series, the Literature from Taiwan Series, in collaboration with the National Museum of Taiwan Literature and National Taiwan Normal University.

Lupke Ye Shitao Front Cover

A History of Taiwan Literature by Ye Shitao
translated by Christopher Lupke

A History of Taiwan Literature by Ye Shitao, an important public intellectual in Taiwan, was published in the crucial watershed year of 1987 when the end of martial law on the island was signaled. This is arguably one of the most important intellectual works of literary history, made even more impressive by Ye’s inclusion of copious notes, including Japanese-language ones. In this translation, Christopher Lupke has painstakingly translated both Ye’s main text and notes, making this valuable resource available to English readers for the first time. Lupke also provides an introduction that contextualizes Ye’s work as well as an epilogue that outlines some of the major historical and literary developments after 1987, along with a brief mention of some of the most important literary figures of Taiwan. In addition to a glossary and index, Lupke offers a select bibliography that lists works that Ye referenced in his own notes as well as some books that Lupke consulted in completing this translation.

Soul of Jade Mountain Front Cover

The Soul of Jade Mountain by Husluman Vava
translated by Terence Russell

Cultural production, including literary work, has been a key element in the Indigenous struggle for decolonization worldwide. In Taiwan, ethnographic novels written in Chinese, such as The Soul of Jade Mountain (Yushan hun) by Bunun writer Husluman Vava (1958–2007), have been an important tool in the process of bringing the circumstances of Indigenous people to the attention of mainstream audiences. The Soul of Jade Mountain won the 2007 Taiwan Literature Award for the best novel, and this is the first English translation of an ethnographic novel by a Taiwan Indigenous writer to be published by a North American publisher, marking an important step in bringing Indigenous Taiwan to international audiences.

Taiwanese Literature Reader Front CoverA Taiwanese Literature Reader
Nikky Lin, ed.

According to Taiwanese intellectual Ye Shitao, the development of Taiwanese literature during Japanese occupation can be divided into three stages: the “nascent period” (1920–1925), followed by the “mature period” (1926–1937), and finally the “war period” (1937–1945). The six stories in this collection are representative works from the mature period and the war period. Each story depicts different hardships and predicaments faced by Taiwan as a colony under Japanese rule, offering insight into how this part of Taiwan’s history continues to impact contemporary Taiwanese society.

See www.cambriapress.com for more titles.

 

China Studies – 10 Important Books

Today on China’s National Day, we highlight books that have made important contributions to China studies. Below are ten books that have earned stellar reviews and should be in all China-studies library collections. Check to see if these titles are in your library. If not, please let your librarian know that there is a 25% discount on publisher-direct orders of all hardcoversuntil October 31. The coupon code is SAVE25 and can be used by individuals too (*does not apply to display copies)

China Books

Ten Important Books for China Studies

  1. The Poetics and Politics of Sensuality in China
    by Xiaorong Li
  2. Spatial Imaginaries in Mid-Tang China by Ao Wang
  3. Insects in Chinese Literature by Wilt L. Idema
  4. Imperfect Understanding by Christopher Rea
  5. The Administration of Buddhism in China
    by Albert Welter
  6. Cosmopolitanism in China, 1600–1950
    by Minghui Hu and Johan Elverskog, eds.
  7. China and Beyond in the Mediaeval Period
    by Dorothy C. Wong and Gustav Heldt, eds.
  8. Eroticism and Other Literary Conventions in Chinese Literature by I-Hsien Wu
  9. Modern Poetry in China by Paul Manfredi
  10. Gao Xingjian by Gao Xingjian (trans. Mabel Lee)
    *See also titles in the Cambria Sinophone World Series.

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NYCAS 2019 Panel Chairs – Megan Ferry and Nicholas Kaldis

Two Cambria Press authors–Professor Megan Ferry and Professor Nicholas Kaldis–will be at the 2019 New York Conference on Asian Studies (NYCAS) at SUNY New Paltz. 

Cambria Press Publication Author Megan Ferry

Professor Megan Ferry (Union College), author of Chinese Women Writers and Modern Print Culture will be chairing the panel “Between State And Populace, Chasing The China Dream” at the 2019 NYCAS conference on October 4, 2019.

Cambria Press Nicholas Kaldis Suny Binghamton Lu Xun Yecao Wild Grass Modern Chinese Literature and Culture MCLC
Cambria Press author Nicholas Kaldis (SUNY Binghamton), author of The Chinese Prose Poem: A Study of Lu Xun’s Wild Grass (Yecao)

Professor Nicholas Kaldis (Binghamton University SUNY), author of The Chinese Prose Poem: A Study of Lu Xun’s Wild Grass (Yecao) will be chairing the panel “Unsettling Perspectives in Chinese & Japanese Film & Fiction”on October 4, 2019.

Both Professors Ferry’s and Kaldis’ books are in the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Please see our ad in the NYCAS conference program and browse our books and pick up a flyer in the NYCAS book exhibit hall.

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Jin Yong (1924–2018): Legend in Chinese Martial Arts Fiction and Modern Chinese Literary History

Today we mourn the passing of Jin Yong (Louis Cha) who was well loved for his wuxia novels, among his many other accomplishments.

Jin Yong

What made Jin Yong such a legend? As Ann Huss and Jianmei noted in The Jin Yong Phenomenon, “Jin Yong writes in what has been referred to by readers and critics as ‘the common language of Chinese around the world.’ [… and his]  writing has emerged as an interrogation of Chinese intellectuals’ project of modernity.”

In their seminal book, Huss and Liu argued that:

Most scholars of modern Chinese literature have studied Jin Yong’s novels within the boundaries of “martial art novels,” an approach which to a large degree has not only ignored the position of Jin Yong’s writing in the modern Chinese literary tradition, but also disregarded the impact of specific historical circumstances on the production of literary works. To remedy this weakness, our selection considers Jin Yong’s anti-Europeanized Chinese writings as works which efficiently rejuvenate long-neglected elements of the native literary tradition: huaben xiaoshuo, classical essay language, and the style of the Mandarin Duck and Butterfly School (Yuanyang hudie pai), all suppressed long ago by the New Literary Tradition. In addition to reclaiming the importance of Jin Yong’s language, our collection also engages Hong Kong, and the cultural and geopolitical space within which Jin Yong’s writings were produced from the 1950s through the 1970s. In this way, we go beyond the limits of literature, ushering the research of Jin Yong’s novels into the interdisciplinary world of political, social, cultural, and film studies.

They also add that:

the popularity of Jin Yong’s works offers us an opportunity to reconceptualize the relationship between high and popular culture, the canon and the uncanon, the modern and the traditional, the East and the West. A closer look at the wuxia project of this seasoned politician, businessman, and master of the literary jianghu will lead us toward a greater understanding of the complexity of the concepts of nation, globalization, and diaspora.

We are indebted to Jin Yong for what he has done for the Chinese literary world; his works will continue to, as Huss and Liu have noted, “lead us toward a greater understanding of the complexity of the concepts of nation, globalization, and diaspora.”

Jin Yong
The Jin Yong Phenomenon: Chinese Martial Arts Fiction and Modern Chinese Literary History, edited by Ann Huss and Jianmei Liu (Cambria Press, 2009)

This book is available in print and e-book editions.

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Celebrating Taiwan, home to some of the richest Sinophone literature in the world

Today on Taiwan’s National Day, we celebrate this important, vibrant island, which has given us—as Jonathan Stalling aptly puts it in Contemporary Taiwanese Women Writers—”some of the richest Sinophone literature in the world.” Stalling elaborates that “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.”

Stalling

Taiwan’s literary history is just as unique, as seen in Chia-rong Wu’s fascinating study, Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond, which explores “the discourse of the supernatural and beyond in response to the historical overview of Sinophone Taiwan.” Wu explores the zhiguai 志怪 genre and shows us how “ghost haunting may be allegorically associated with the historical, political, cultural, and even sexual dimensions of the world of the living.”

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan

In showcasing the world of the living in Taiwan, Hou Hsiao-hsien is “considered by many cinema aficionados to be one of the most innovative, provocative, and enthralling directors,” as Christopher Lupke notes in The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien and further remarks that “linguistically and culturally speaking Hou Hsiao-hsien necessarily dwells in contested terrain, in the political penumbra between state and region, between national culture and transnational identity.”

Hou Hsiao-hsien

Supernatural Sinophone Taiwan and Beyond and The Sinophone Cinema of Hou Hsiao-hsien are part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Professor Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

Cambria Sinophone World Series Video
Watch the updated video for the Cambria Sinophone World Series

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Cambria Press Publication Review: The Borderlands of Asia

Congratulations to Professor Mark Bender (The Ohio State University) on the outstanding review of his book, The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry, in the journal Modern Chinese Literature and Culture (MCLC).

Sinophone

The review states:

In translating these poems into English, the global ‘language of interaction’ (p. xxi), the voices of poets from the borderlands of Asia can be heard by a wider audience. Bender’s informative introduction gives his readers a broad context for understanding the complicated histories and cultures of the areas and the poets included in the volume. ….

In addition to highlighting the ecocritical aspects of the poems in the volume (p. 14), Bender’s introduction contributes to a growing awareness of the peoples and cultures of Zomia and Sinophone communities of the margins. People transform space into place through the process of inhabiting an environment; the cultural adaptability and knowledge they obtain through human interactions help them shape and conceptualize that environment. The different conceptualizations of place in this collection are associated with various histories and ethnic identities. …

In the borderlands of Asia, people suffer from war, economic inequality, and environmental degradation because of modern development and nation-state building. In this collection of poems, we also encounter the anxiety, rage, and trauma felt by the poets and their peoples as they confront the daunting challenges of the nation-state system, modernity, globalization, and the Anthropocene. …

The editor has done impressive work to offer background knowledge for understanding most of the poems, especially the ones from Southwest China. …

Taken together, this work is a timely publication in dialogue with many scholarly trends, including the Sinophone, Zomia, and the Anthropocene, as understood through the medium of poetry. Although the contributors of this collection hail from a variety of nationalities and cultures, they share common difficulties and concerns in their lives. This volume is a crucial contribution to the fields of literary anthropology, literary studies, and Asian studies and is destined to become required reading for students in anthropology and comparative literature.

The Borderlands of Asia is part of the Cambria Sinophone World Series, headed by Victor Mair (University of Pennsylvania).

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