Catalogue

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Remembering China from Taiwan : divided families and bittersweet reunions after the Chinese Civil War /
Mahlon Meyer.
imprint
Hong Kong : Hong Kong University Press, c2012.
description
x, 234 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9789888083862 (hbk.), 9888083864 (hbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Hong Kong : Hong Kong University Press, c2012.
isbn
9789888083862 (hbk.)
9888083864 (hbk.)
abstract
When the Nationalists lost China in 1949, many of them left behind their families as they retreated to Taiwan. A half century later, through democratic elections, they lost control over Taiwan as well and began looking to a new and powerful China, where their relatives had grown rich, for a sense of identity and economic support, thus laying the groundwork for the growing integration between Taiwan and China. As exchanges across the Taiwan Strait increased, many separated families finally met after years of dreaming about each other in hope and in sorrow, through many eras and disast.
catalogue key
8581174
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2012-10-01:
When the Republican government retreated to the island of Taiwan after its defeat at the hands of its communist rivals in 1949, it was meant to be temporary, a compromise with the promise to recover the mainland. The Chiang Kai-shek government on Taiwan renamed entire cities and streets to reflect the old China and brutally subjugated aboriginals so that it could completely repave the island's political and economic infrastructure as an implicit reminder to the two million Chinese exiled in Taiwan of its mandate to regain and rule China. Drawing from the oral histories of six mainland families in Taiwan, Meyer (Univ. of Washington) pens a moving portrait of the social and psychological catastrophes life proved to be for each of these migrants and their offspring in their adaptation to their new lives and identities on the island. Meyer's narrative enriches current understanding of the Taiwanese experience during its rise as a country amidst its search for identity as a Chinese nation. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. A. Cho University of British Columbia
Reviews
Review Quotes
Meyer's narrative enriches current understanding of the Taiwanese experience during its rise as a country amidst its search for identity as a Chinese nation.... Highly recommended.
"All Chinese of a certain generation -- those in mainland China, KMT refugees, and even native Taiwanese -- were ravaged and left desolate by war and political upheaval. Meyer's eloquent and starkly drawn depictions of how students were fined for speaking Taiwanese, how Chiang Kai-shek asked for documents to be written in an older calligraphic style, and how a man has to decide where he is going to bury his family and whether he should buy land in Taiwan for a family ancestral hall -- all of this deepens the reader's understanding of the times. The memories of loss, dislocation, and upheaval are deeply felt and sensitively described. These stories of mainland refugees reimagining their shattered identities highlight a change in identity that is going on in all generations of Chinese people, in Taiwan, in China and in the Chinese diaspora."
"Civil wars have casualties long after they are over. The movement of several million mainland Chinese to Taiwan in 1949 changed that island's history and guaranteed its autonomy. It also produced multiple traumas, for locals and mainlanders alike. This book tells the stories of a nation and families divided across the Taiwan Strait; of generations set apart by hot and cold wars; and of how Chinese mainlanders could still feel abroad in their new Taiwan homes sixty years after migration. Mahlon Meyer's eloquent essay on displacement and memory in modern Taiwan adds an original perspective to our understanding of the fractured cultural world of 'greater China'."
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2012
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
At the close of the Chinese Civil War, two million Chinese fled from the victorious communist army under Mao Zedong. They fled across an ocean strait to the island of Taiwan where they dreamt of their lost homes and relatives left behind. This book draws on oral histories to show how painful the struggles were for the people.
Library of Congress Summary
When the Nationalists lost China in 1949, many of them left behind their families as they retreated to Taiwan. A half century later, through democratic elections, they lost control over Taiwan as well and began looking to a new and powerful China, where their relatives had grown rich, for a sense of identity and economic support, thus laying the groundwork for the growing integration between Taiwan and China. As exchanges across the Taiwan Strait increased, many separated families finally met after years of dreaming about each other in hope and in sorrow, through many eras and disast.
Main Description
At the close of the Chinese Civil War, two million Chinese fled from the victorious communist army under Mao Zedong. They fled across a long ocean strait to the island of Taiwan where they waited for almost fifty years, dreaming of their lost homes and relatives left behind, aging and living out their lives as defeated, cursed people. But when both Taiwan and China began to become wealthy, the two sides allowed cautious exchanges. The split families met up again. There was hope, joy, sorrow, and disasters. Yet the losers of the Chinese civil war, who had endured for so long, now found a new reason to persevere: they no longer hated their enemies. In fact, they now wanted to join them. This book draws on oral histories with Kuomintang loyalists in Taiwan to show their painful struggles with family, friends, and relatives back in the mainland, their hopes and disappointments, the effects on a changing society and political situation in Taiwan, and the dynamics of cross-strait relations shared by millions on both sides of the Taiwan strait.
Main Description
When the Nationalists lost China in 1949, many of them left behind their families as they retreated to Taiwan. A half century later, through democratic elections, they lost con­trol over Taiwan as well and began looking to a new and powerful China, where their relatives had grown rich, for a sense of identity and eco­nomic support, thus laying the groundwork for the growing integration between Taiwan and China. As exchanges across the Taiwan Strait increased, many separated families finally met after years of dreaming about each other in hope and in sorrow, through many eras and disasters. But their reunions were often pain­ful and freshly transformative as new realities were encountered. This book draws on oral his­tories with several generations of Kuomintang loyalists in Taiwan and documents their strug­gles with family and friends nearby as well as distant relatives in the mainland.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. vii
Introductionp. 1
Degrees of Escapep. 15
Mixing Memory and Desirep. 57
Low Lie the Shattered Towersp. 119
The second generationp. 120
Low lie the shattered towersp. 121
Death outsidep. 128
Social change: Taiwanese versus the restp. 159
The grandchildren: Two sketches in memoryp. 164
Overseas Connectionsp. 179
Bugged: The story of Tan Zhefup. 179
The factory workerp. 186
Liu Rong: Stranger in a strange Landp. 199
Missingp. 210
Conclusion: The Other Shorep. 219
Notesp. 223
Indexp. 231
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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