224 pages, 6 x 9
Marital Strife in Contemporary Chinese Literature and Visual Culture
University of Washington Press
As state control of private life in China has loosened since 1980, citizens have experienced an unprecedented family revolution – an overhaul of family structure, marital practices, and gender relationships. While the nuclear family has become a privileged realm of romance and individualism symbolizing the post-revolutionary “freedoms” of economic and affective autonomy, women’s roles in particular have been transformed, with the ideal “iron girl” of socialism replaced by the feminine, family-oriented “good wife and wise mother.” Problems and contradictions in this new domestic culture have been exposed by China's soaring divorce rate. Reading popular “divorce narratives” in fiction, film, and TV drama, Hui Faye Xiao shows that the representation of marital discord has become a cultural battleground for competing ideologies within post-revolutionary China.
Hui Faye Xiao is an assistant professor of modern Chinese literature and culture at the University of Kansas.
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