By Shu-mei Shih

This definitive anthology casts Sinophone experiences because the learn of Sinitic-language cultures born of colonial and postcolonial impacts. Essays via such authors as Rey Chow, Ha Jin, Leo Ou-fan Lee, Ien Ang, Wei-ming Tu, and David Wang deal with debates in regards to the nature of Chineseness whereas introducing readers to crucial readings in Tibetan, Malaysian, Taiwanese, French, Caribbean, and American Sinophone literatures. by way of putting Sinophone cultures on the crossroads of a number of empires, this anthology richly demonstrates the transformative energy of multiculturalism and multilingualism, and by means of reading the place-based cultural and social practices of Sinitic-language groups of their old contexts past "China proper," it successfully refutes the diasporic framework. it really is a useful spouse for classes in Asian, postcolonial, empire, and ethnic reports, in addition to international and comparative literature.

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Example text

In China, the continuous, large-scale, state-sponsored migration and settlement of the dominant Han Chinese to the territories of Tibet, Xinjiang (literally meaning the “new dominion”), and Inner Mongolia, as well as to the southwestern regions inhabited by various indigenous peoples, can be viewed as a comparable case, again through a process of continental colonialism that takes the form of settler-cum-internal colonialism. The land-based, state-sponsored settlement makes diaspora an improbable category here, not only because the colonies are contiguous in geography with the metropole, but also because this Han “diaspora” is not occurring in the context of duress as with the Jewish diaspora.

Almost always the discussions and debates exceeded allotted times, and this expressed passion has sustained her work in this area through the years. Finally, she would like to acknowledge the important contribution of both of the coeditors (Chien-hsin Tsai and Brian Bernards), but her greatest gratitude is to Brian Bernards, who shouldered the heaviest task of putting together the manuscript in the final stages of work. Chien-hsin Tsai first thanks his coeditors, Shu-mei and Brian, for their professionalism and enthusiasm that have seen the project through its different stages.

I attempted, by the term Sinophone, to give a name to those bodies of texts that have been given the torturous and confusing nomenclature “literature in Chinese” (huayu wenxue, written outside China) as opposed to “Chinese literature” (Zhongguo wenxue, written inside China). 22 My model at the time was what had been known as Mahua literature—literally, Malaysian literature written by the Hua or written in Huayu or Huawen—which belongs to Malaysian national literature, but is marginalized in Malaysia and everywhere else.

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