This paper focuses on how contemporary literary works by women authors in China and the U.S. reverse the individualist West/collectivist China assumption. It mainly compares the works of Lydia Davis and Wang Anyi with regards to urban women’s identities. Under the inspiration of revolutionary ideologies that characterize 20th century China, female characters are striving for meaning in their lives as individuals. In U.S.-American writings, however, the individual is becoming more anonymous and interchangeable, particularly in urban spaces. This article traces possible reasons and implications for this contrast.
Xue Wei recently earned a Master’s degree in English Literature from China University of Mining and Technology. Her main research interests include comparing Chinese and American literatures, and feminist studies. Published articles include: “The Uneven and Ever-Suffering Road: Introduction of Chinese Literature to the Western World,” in China from Where We Stand: Readings in Comparative Sinology, Cambridge Scholar Publishing, 2016; and “Lesbianism and Selfhood: An Exploration of a Contemporary Chinese Woman’s Novel,” Rain and Thunder, Fall 2016.
Kate Rose is a professor at China University of Mining and Technology, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate students of English and conducts research with the International Center for Comparative Sinology. She is also responsible for international academic conferences and publications. This is her third year in China, and she is finally reading books in Chinese. Before this, she earned a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of Montpellier, France, on Magical Realism and the quest for freedom in contemporary French and Francophone women’s writings (also topic of her first book, Décoloniser l’imaginaire). Originally American, she lived and taught in France for 13 years. Her other themes include feminist utopia and travel writing.
Wei, Xue and Rose, Kate
"Urban Nowhere: Loss of Self in Lydia Davis’ Stories and Wang Anyi’s Brothers,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 18:
4, Article 4.
Since September 01, 2017