Xenotropism and the Awakening of Literary Expatriatism through Writing Memoirs

Three Writers and Xenotropism (Turning to the Foreign)

Author(s): Christine Velde

Pp: 33-49 (17)

DOI: 10.2174/9781681082837116010007

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Chapter 3 explores the lives and writing of three writers who lived during difficult and often traumatic periods in China. Emily Hahn, Nien Cheng and Qiu Xiaolong made sense of their different displacements through their writing. Emily Hahn, the expatriate and a prolific writer about China, attempted to inform the West about its culture and people. In contrast to the romantic adventures of Emily Hahn, the political émigré Nien Cheng, documented her harrowing experiences as a prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. Qiu Xiaolong the exile, fled to the United States during the Cultural Revolution. He remains loyal to China and feels he can write more objectively about Chinese history and culture from a distance. Qiu Xiaolong aptly accomplishes this through his character Inspector Chen in his continuing series of detective novels, in which he captures China’s culture and political past.

Keywords: Artistic, Catharsis, China, Cultural Revolution, Culture shock, Émigré, Exile, Expatriation, Foreign, Global, Memoir, Poetry, Shanghai, Tiananmen Square, Transformation, Writing, Xenotropism.

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