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The Uses of Literature : Life in the Socialist Chinese Literary System Paperback – February 14, 2000

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Editorial Reviews


One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2000

"The definitive social and intellectual history of China's early post-Mao socialist literary system . . . This book doubles as the most revealing, systematic, and readable guide yet to Chinese literary institutions, thought, tastes, reader-ruler relations for the whole communist period."--Choice

"In his new, densely packed, and fascinating book, Professor Link has moved from describing the plight of Chinese intellectuals to an account of what books and publications the Chinese read and why. . .The members of the Chinese reading public are hardly known in the West. In The Uses of Literature, they are perceptively described . . . Professor Link provides the best description and analysis I have read of how literary controls have been imposed during the last five decades."--Jonathan Mirsky, New York Review of Books

"Link is too astute to be a true believer of any literary ideology, East or West. . . . The historical background he provides, however, will enable all critics of contemporary Chinese literature to do their work with far greater accuracy and insight."--Timothy C. Wong, World Literature Today

"The Uses of Literature will prove a wonderfully useful book, not only to those of us in the field, who will relish the fine detail and strong description, but to the more general audience who seeks to understand the complexities of the socialist literary system."--Kirk A. Denton, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies

About the Author

Perry Link is Professor of East Asian Studies at Princeton University, where he teaches modern Chinese language, literature, and cultural history. His books include Mandarin Ducks and Butterflies and Evening Chats in Beijing.

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