Chinese in Australian Fiction, 1888–1988

by Ouyang Yu

Reviews

"As China continues to attract global attention because of its rapid economic growth, this book is a timely, valuable and stimulating read. Weaving literary representations with historical overviews, this book provides both literary and historical perspectives. Amply furnished with endnotes, bibliography and index, it provides comprehensive resource materials for those seeking a better understanding of the ways fiction has marginalised the Chinese throughout Australian history. This book is a valuable resource for those in Australian Studies, Asian Studies, Literary Studies or Ethnic and Immigrant Studies." - Journal of Intercultural Studies

"With his usual courage, Ouyang Yu has sought out extensive material written against the Chinese by Australians over one hundred years-and forced himself to read it and come to terms with it. The Chinese immigration to the goldfields in the mid-nineteenth century meant their derision in songs and stories, including those of Charles Thatcher and Rolf Boldrewood. By the 1890s, William Lane was writing diatribes against the Chinese in the name of the labour movement. Ever since, stereotypes of untrustworthy Chinese villains and exotic Chinese beauties have riddled Australian popular culture. Ouyang explores the shifts in these attitudes and the range of novelists who expressed them. At various times in the twentieth century, paranoia about Chinese invasion has been widespread in Australia-particularly after each of the world wars...Australians now have a prime minister who speaks Mandarin-a new era of Australian-Chinese relations may have begun. Ouyang Yu's study is a timely contribution to the re-examination of Australia's relationship to China." - Professor Susan Lever, University of New South Wales


 

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