Three Writers and Xenotropism (Turning to the Foreign)
Pp. 33-49 (17)
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.
Artistic, Catharsis, China, Cultural Revolution, Culture shock,
Émigré, Exile, Expatriation, Foreign, Global, Memoir, Poetry, Shanghai,
Tiananmen Square, Transformation, Writing, Xenotropism.
School of Humanities, Faculty of Arts University of Adelaide, South Australia, 5001.