Between the Lines : Reading Romance in Han Suyin's Autofiction

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)Chapter in research book/monograph/textbook (Author)

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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTwentieth-Century Literary Encounters in China
Subtitle of host publicationModernism, Travel, and Form
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge
Pages95-117
ISBN (Electronic)9780367815400
ISBN (Print)9780367415983, 9781032088150
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameRoutledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the writings of Han Suyin, an author whose works were influential in terms of representing China’s historical changes for Western audiences during the mid- to late twentieth century. In this chapter I will discuss Han’s memoir Destination Chungking (1942) and her novel A Many Splendored Thing (1952), focusing on the ways in which these works both generate and critique historical knowledge of China’s emergent modernity through tropes of desire, embodiment, and romance. As Han’s texts depict the author’s dual role as both doctor and author, they expose ambivalences that underlie conceptualizations of the body as a symbolic site of nationalist modernity during a period of historical transformation. The critique that is apparent in these earlier works by Han dramatize the ways in which China’s changing historical context offered opportunities for imagining twentieth-century cultural modernity in nonbinary terms and ‘between the lines’.

Citation Format(s)

Between the Lines : Reading Romance in Han Suyin's Autofiction. / Mather, Jeffrey.

Twentieth-Century Literary Encounters in China: Modernism, Travel, and Form. New York : Routledge, 2020. p. 95-117 (Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature).

Research output: Chapters, Conference Papers, Creative and Literary Works (RGC: 12, 32, 41, 45)Chapter in research book/monograph/textbook (Author)