I Myself Am a Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling

Ding Ling, Author, Gary Bjorge, Editor, Tani E. Barlow, Editor Beacon Press (MA) $24.95 (361p) ISBN 978-0-8070-6736-9
This meticulously documented collection, introducing the feminist Chinese author Ding Ling (1904-1985), is an important addition to our store of Chinese literature in translation, although the 11 stories and two essays vary in quality. The least memorable are at heart moral tracts, paeans to Communist ideals. Early efforts, such as ``Miss Sophia's Diary,'' telling of the obsessive love of a tubercular woman for a Chinese emigre, also owe a debt to Europe an literature, particularly Flaubert. Later stories reaffirm the author's commitment to literature as a form of ``moral instruction'': ``New Faith'' concerns the brutal effects of Japanese occupation of China; ``Du Wanxiang'' describes the life of a peasant woman who is the epitome of a good Communist. Still, Ling's shrewd observations of the war between the sexes--coupled with her dramatic flair--will reward contemporary Western readers. Links between Ling's life and art are well traced in editor Barlow's lengthy biographical introduction. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
Paperback - 376 pages - 978-0-8070-6747-5
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