This book seeks to situate our understanding of Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang)'s Chuanqi as part of global women's efforts to establish a voice of their own by creating a unique form of literary writing. In order to show Zhang as a conscious weaver of Gothic fiction, Chinese style, this study pursues two parallel routes of argument. First, proceeding from Zhang's vision of human experience as an interplay of the ordinary and the extra-ordinary, the present research delineates her indebtedness to and rebellion against traditional Chinese ""Gothic,"" especially the genre of chuanqi. To illuminate the common raison d'être of Zhang's modern romances in her collection Chuanqi and its namesake traditional genre, this study bypasses the historicity and cultural specificity of Western Gothic to put forward a definition of ""Gothic"" that can accommodate Chinese particularities. Second, to demonstrate the general comparability between Zhang's creative imagination and that of widely recognized female Gothicists, this book engages in close textual analysis of a broad spectrum of Zhang's stories on the one hand and on the other representative works by Zhang's American contemporaries, Eudora Welty and Carson McCullers. Focusing on three leitmotifs of female Gothicthe female grotesque, confinement, and escape, the comparative analysis illuminates differences as well as similarities between Chinese and American female Gothic.
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