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Dragonflies: Fiction by Chinese Women in the Twentieth Century

115 Dragonflies
Edited by Shu-ning SCIBAN and Fred EDWARDS
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Dragonflies: Fiction by Chinese Women in the Twentieth Century is an anthology containing twelve selections ranging from short stories to novellas, and spans the century from the May Fourth Movement to the 1990s. The eleven authors represented are Ling Shuhua, Bing Xin, Zhang Ailing, Wei Junyi, Kang Yunwei, Ping Lu, Liao Huiying, Chi Li, Jiang Zidan, Wang Anyi, and Xi Xi. Rather than focusing on revolutionary or heroic role-models, the selected works portray women struggling to deal with the conflicting demands of tradition and modernity in a rapidly changing society. The most recent story in the collection, Wang Anyi's coolly analytical but heartbreaking Sisters (1996), illustrates the persistence of traditional social norms, while Jiang Zidan's Waiting for Dusk (1990) depicts a woman oppressed by nature itself. The introductory essay by Shu-ning Sciban traces the evolution of fiction by women writers in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong during the twentieth century. Dragonflies will appeal to readers with an interest in modern China, Chinese literature and gender studies. | 240 pages


  1. The Embroidered Cushions
  2. Love in the Fallen City
  3. My Neighbor
  4. Women Heather
  5. Such a Beautiful Sunday
  6. Bowls
  7. Frying Pan
  8. Rapeseed
  9. Jade
  10. Waiting for Dusk
  11. Hot or Cold, Life's Okay
  12. Sisters
  • List of Translators
  • Acknowledgement of Copyright

  • "The latest high-quality volume to be published in the Cornell East Asia Series. … The informative historical framework offered in the introduction is essential to the reader's understanding of the freedoms accorded women from the 1920s to the 1990s. … Dragonflies is highly recommended for its historical, ethical, and aesthetic approach to women's matters, women's sensitivities, and their poetry. — World Literature Today, May-August 2004
  • "An interesting and helpful addition to the existing collections of modern Chinese fiction." — China Review International 


  • SHU-NING SCIBAN received her Ph.D in Chinese literature from the University of Toronto, and currently is Professor of Germanic, Slavic and East Asian Studies at University of Calgary. 
  • FRED EDWARDS majored in Chinese Studies at the University of Toronto. He currently is a copy editor at The Toronto Star. 

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