Cambria Press Publication Review: Chinese Women Writers and Modern Print Culture


Congratulations to Professor Megan Ferry (Union College) on the outstanding review of her book Chinese Women Writers and Modern Print CultureChina Review International commends her book for being “a meticulous achievement of nearly twenty-year research” and for how “Ferry has convincingly depicted how print media in twentieth-century China constructed both gender and identity, which, to a certain extent, tempered and regulated a woman writer’s physical body as well as her intellectual authority.”

The book review further notes that

Ferry goes in depth into a great variety of newspapers and periodicals, including both serious literary publications and tabloids. She also makes good use of numerous visual images to illustrate the contradictory position of women writers as both consumers and commodities. Particularly in the case of Ding Ling’s disappearance and reappearance in public, Ferry exemplifies how renowned left-wing intellectuals almost created a ‘reading method’ to connect the woman author and her texts by (mis)interpreting her images. Another example of her detailed archival research is that Ferry notices the woman writer Chen Hengzhe started to write vernacular fiction even before Lu Xun, though the latter took all credits for this revolutionary new genre, leading a pioneering fashion in literature style (p. 85). … The approach of gender that Ferry picks is quite innovative [and her] criticism of the ‘women category’ is indeed thought-provoking. She carefully compares ‘modern girl’ and ‘new woman,’ concepts that are often mixed without sufficient consideration. … make inspiring discussions and arguments even more meaningful at present. … Her illustration on gender consciousness and protocols in the print industry since 1980 reminds us of how state-led propaganda attempted to regain control of the discourse on reproductivity in just recent years and make us rethink how women writers address their own physical presence in the male-dominated literary tradition past and present.”

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

This book is available in print and digital versions from Cambria Press.

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