Remapping the Past

Fictions of History in Deng’s China, 1979-1997


The most prominent literary phenomenon in the 1980s and 1990s in China, historical fiction, has never been systematically surveyed in Anglophone scholarship. This is the first investigation into how, by rewriting the past, writers of Deng Xiaoping’s reform era undermined the grand narrative of official history.
It showcases fictions of history by eleven native Chinese, Muslim and Tibetan authors. The four chapters are organized in terms of spatial schemes of fictional historiography, namely, regional histories and family romances, discourses on diaspora and myths of minorities, nostalgia for the hometown in the country and the city, as well as the bodily text and the textual body, thus broadly covering the eternal themes of memory, language, food, sex, and violence in historical writing.

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Howard Y. F. Choy is assistant professor at Wittenberg University. He received his Ph.D. in comparative literature and humanities from the University of Colorado (2004) and is the assistant author of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Confucianism (New York: Rosen, 2005).
I. Regional Histories and Family Fables: From Root Search to New Historicism
II. The Outlying and the Peripheral: Myths of Migrants and Minorities
III. From the Country to the City: Nostalgia for the Hometown
IV. The Bodily Text and the Textual Body: The Violence of History
Back(ward) to the Future: Toward a Retro-fiction

What Is Held and in Whose Hand? An Etymological Reexamination of shi

Scholars and students interested in contemporary Chinese literature, historical fiction, the history of China, and literary criticism.
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