The Representation of Chineseness in Chinese English Literature

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This book is based on the research that Zhang Jing did in University of Surrey Roehampton in London, UK. and examines the representation of Chineseness in literature written by writers of Chinese ancestry.Using postcolonial theories of literary representation as a major approach, she shows how Chinese English authors attempt to give different versions of Chineseness, seeing literary representation as a site of identity construction. Their self-portraits, however influenced by Western representations of China and Chinese culture, negotiate and renegotiate the notion of 'Chineseness' in a contemporary multicultural society.

Beginning with a brief survey of Western representations of Chineseness, Zhang Jing argues that Chinese English literature on the whole is concerned with deconstructing Western stereotypes of China and reshaping 'Chineseness' in today's world of globalisation. She examines the representation of traditional Chinese culture in these works and highlight their authors' attempts to make positive use of the adaptability and flexibility of traditional Chinese culture.

By making a broad comparative study of literature written by Chinese English authors, thus placing the issue of Chineseness representation in a large context, Zhang Jing hopes to reveal the complexity and dynamic of cultural identity in a postmodern era. The book concludes that the literary representation of Chineseness is a very complex process that involves various issues concerning identity construction in different circumstances, cultural negotiation and integration, essentialism and hybridity, stereotyping and counter-stereotyping, as well as the artistic expression of individual vision.
The Representation of Chineseness in Chinese English Literature