In(ter)dependence in Chinese/American Life-Writing: Liang Qichao 梁启超, Hu Shi 胡适, Shen Congwen 沈从文, Maxine Hong Kingston, William Poy Lee, and Ruthanne Lum McCunn

  • King-Kok Cheung


IN(TER)DEPENDENCE shows how Chinese American writers introduce plural voices into life-writing, transforming a navel-gazing genre into a literary rendezvous. It takes issue with Frank Chin’s assertions that Chinese American autobiography reeks of Christian confession and attributes what Chin regards as self-subordination to an interdependent self-construal. My comparative study examines a Chinese (auto)biographical tradition, probes intercultural similarities and differences, and offers a transnational perspective on the controversial leverage of Chinese material in Chinese American writing. I trace the commonalities to the emphasis on an interdependent self and the disparities to changing attitudes toward authorities. Unlike the Chinese writers, the Chinese American authors do not scruple to disclose family secrets and to cross genre boundaries. Bicultural literacy can obviate cultural misreading and do justice to textual polyphony.


Chinese Family Chinese Writer Western Influence Autobiographical Account Holy Ghost 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • King-Kok Cheung
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of California, Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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