About the Book

The Power of Weakness

The Power of Weakness

Four Stories of the Chinese Revolution
June 2007
Trade Paperback · 96 Pages
$12.95 U.S. · $15.50 CAN
ISBN 9781558615489
The Feminist Press at CUNY


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This unique four-story collection juxtaposes the Chinese writing master Lu Hsun’s pre-revolutionary fiction about rural women’s personal sacrifices to custom and social expectations with Ding Ling’s revolutionary inspirational literature of women’s survival despite wartime atrocities. The result is a fascinating collection about the force of tradition and the historical moments that empower women to renegotiate their position in society.

Named the “commander of China’s cultural revolution” by Mao Zedong, Lu Hsun (1881–1936) is one of the most influential writers of the twentieth century.

Ding Ling (1904–1985) was one of modern China’s most famous writers and cultural revolutionaries.

About the Authors

Ding Líng was the pseudonym of Jiang Bingzhi (October 12, 1904—March 4, 1986), a contemporary Chinese author from Linli, Hunan province. She is most noted for Miss Sophie's Diary, published in 1927, and later her Communist literature, including The Sun Shines Over the Sanggan River, which won the Stalin Prize for literature in 1951. Hailed by Mao Zedong as the source of modern Chinese revolutionary literature, Lu Hsün or Lu Xun (September 25, 1881—October 19, 1936), the pen name of Zhou Shuren, is considered one of the most influential Chinese writers of the 20th century. His literary works enriched every modern genre, except the novel, and influenced the rise of Chinese nationalism. Barlow is the Director for the Project for Critical Asian Studies and Professor of History and Women's Studies at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her most recent book is The Question of Women in Chinese Feminism. She has also edited an anthology entitled I Myself Am Woman: Selected Writings of Ding Ling.