Eileen Chang’s Writing and Shanghai

1678 Words7 Pages
In 20th century Shanghai, women began to get more involved in writing fiction. Eileen Chang was one of the best-known female writers at that time. In 1957, C.T. Hsia published his study of Eileen Chang in Wenxue Zazhi, marking the beginning of Chang study; Chang soon became an important phenomenon. Throughout her life, she published almost 30 novels, most of which were set in Shanghai. Chang’s works have drawn wide attention from critics, who evaluate her role as a Chinese writer primarily through their reviews on her Shanghai novels. Academics value the influence of Shanghai on Eileen Chang’s writing. Scholars, including Des Forges, C.T. Hsia, David Wang and Wang Anyi, are aware of Chang’s reputation in Shanghai literature. In Mediasphere Shanghai, Des Forges implies that Chang’s own popularity in Shanghai greatly contributed to the revival of readers’ interest in Lives of Shanghai Flowers. It was her fame for literature, and Shanghai novels in particular, that added “real significance” to the reissue of Lives of Shanghai Flowers in her collection (163-164). Aware of Chang’s large readership, Des Forges indicates his agreement on her authority in Shanghai literature writing and appreciation. He cites her preference on Shanghai Flowers and On the Huangpu River to prove the excellence of these two Shanghai novels: “Eileen Chang, considered one of the brightest stars of the modern/modernist canon…rank them as two of her favorite eight works of Chinese literature” (24). A History of Modern Chinese Fiction, one of the most important sources for Chang study, acknowledges the public recognition of Chang’s works (Hsia 389), by listing her popular Shanghai novels. Hsia also mentions the substantial reproduction of Chang’s collections in later volumes to stress her large readership and noticeable influence. Thus, Hsia concludes that Chang “made such significant contributions

More about Eileen Chang’s Writing and Shanghai

Open Document