Friday, January 28, 2011

Beyond the Joy Luck Club: Renditions Journal

As reported by the Modern Language Association, Maxine Hong Kingston's book, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Beyond Ghosts, is the most commonly taught text in modern university education. The book, which juxtaposes the 'talk-story' tales of the narrator's mother in China against her own upbringing in 20th century America, won the National Book Critics Circle Award for best work of nonfiction in 1975.

While cross-generational stories exploring post-immigrant cultural identity are still popular, many authors of Chinese heritage are setting their stories in China. One excellent resource for material rarely available in English is Renditions, an international journal of Chinese literature in English translation. Published in Hong Kong since 1973, it covers over 2000 years of classical works but also focuses on contemporary writing.

In addition, Renditions publishes a variety of books. Of particular interest to those seeking a window into women’s experiences of China are nine works translated by Eva Hung. A list of paperbacks are available on the Renditions website.

(Some of the above text was adapted from my post at the aha!Chinese blog: New World, New Skills.)

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