Heterogeneous Representations of Chinese Women in Young Adult Literature: A Postcolonial Reading


  • James C. Greenlaw School of Education, St. Francis Xavier University


Résumé: Les écrivains occidentaux ont toujours donne une vision reductrice de la culture chinoise. Dans les films et les romans présentant des personnages chinois, les femmes sont toujours conformes aux stéréotypes de la "femme-dragon" ou de la "jeune fille-fleur de lotus." À la lumière des theories du discours orientaliste d'Edward Said et de Lisa Lowe, le présent article montre les différences dans la présentation des Chinoises entre les auteurs d'ascendance européenne et les écrivains sino-canadiens et américains. Summary: Orientalist texts by Western writers have traditionally tended to essentialize Chinese culture and to stereotype Chinese people. in books and films which contain Chinese characters, but which have been produced by dominant culture North American and European authors and directors, representations of Chinese women have usually conformed to the stereotypes of the "dragon lady" or the "lotus blossom baby." In the following analysis, the postcolonial literary theories of Edward Said, Lisa Lowe, and others are used to compare the depictions of Chinese women which can be found in Eurocentric texts with the more heterogeneous representations to be discovered in Chinese American and Chinese Canadian literature for young adults.

Author Biography

James C. Greenlaw, School of Education, St. Francis Xavier University

James Greenlaw is an Associate Professor of English Education at St. Francis Xavier University's School of Education. He is the author of the book English Language Arts and Reading on the Internet (Prentice Hall, 2005) and the principal writer and series editor for the ESL series Project English (2004) that is used in middle schools throughout China. He has written extensively about how to teach multicultural literature in grades 7 to 12.