Suggestions for further reading

Note that most Chinese words and names are romanized in the pinyin system.  Some titles (especially in books published prior to 1979) use the Wade-Giles system of romanization.  Chinese personal names are sometimes romanized in ways that are not in strict accordance with either system.  This is not an extensive bibliography, but rather a list of works that have been essential in constructing this course website and that may be of interest to readers of the website and the novel and opera-goers. An extensive bibliography is in Schonebaum and Lu.

Chinese names are normally given with the surname first. Surnames that are given first in this list are in all capital letters.

First of all, the best translation of the novel itself:

David Hawkes and John Minford, The Story of the Stone. New York: Penguin, 5 vols.  An excellent, and very readable translation.  This edition of the novel has helpful prefaces and appendices.

An essential volume which will guide the novice (and the experienced reader) through the novel is:

Andrew Schonenbaum and Tina Lu, Approaches to Teaching The Story of the Stone (Dream of the Red Chamber).  New York: Modern Language Association, 2012.

For ease of use, the remaining works are listed alphabetically:

Chang, Kang-i Sun and Haun Saussy. Writing Women of Late Imperial China: An Anthology of Poetry and Criticism. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997.

Chow, Jennifer. “Sequels to honglou meng : How Gu Taiqing continues the story in Honglou meng ying.”  PhD dissertation, University of British Columbia, 2012.

Dong, Madeline Yue. “Yangliuqing New Year’s Picture: The Fortunes of a Folk Tradition,” in Visualizing Modern China: Image, History, and Memory, 1750-Present, edited by James A. Cook, et.al New York: Lexington Books, 2014. An informative look at the history of Yangliuqing.

Edwards, Louise P. Men and Women in Qing China: Gender in the Red Chamber Dream. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2001.

Elman, Benjamin.  A Cultural History of Civil Examinations in Late Imperial China. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2000. A foundational work on the civil service examination system.

Fong, Grace. “Female Hands: Embroidery as a Knowledge Field in Women’s Everyday Life in Late Imperial and Early Republican China.” Late Imperial China 25:1 (June 2004) 1-58. Looks at embroidery as an activity of elite women.

Fong, Grace S. Herself an Author: Gender, Writing, and Agency in Late Imperial China. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. 2008. Chapter 4, “Gender and Reading: Form, Rhetoric, and Community in Women’s Poetic Criticism,” contains a detailed discussion of Shen Shanbao’s Mingyuan shihua.

Fong, Grace. “Private Emotion, Public Commemoration: Qian Shoupu’s Poems of Mourning.” Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR) 30 (Dec. 2008) 19-30.

Fong, Grace S. “Shen Shan-pao.” In The Indiana Companion to Traditional Chinese Literature, edited by William Nienhauser Jr., vol. 2, pp. 138–140. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.

Fong, Grace S. “Writing Self and Writing Lives: Shen Shanbao’s (1808–1862) Gendered Auto/Biographical Practices.” Nan Nü: Men, Women, and Gender in Early and Imperial China 2, no. 2 (2000): 259–303.

Goldstein, Joshua. “Mei Lanfang and the Nationalization of the Peking Opera, 1912-1930,”  positions: east asia cultures critique 7:2 (1999) 377-420.

HE Qiliang, “Between Accommodation and Resistance: Pingtan Storytelling in 1960s Shanghai.” Modern Asian Studies 48.03 (2014): 524-549.

HU Wenbin 胡文彬  “Wang Xilian jiashi shengping kaosu bushuo–liantan Qingdai pingdianpai de yanjiu” 王希廉家世生平考述补说——兼谈清代评点派的研究” ((Some supplementary comments on the life of Wang Xilian, including some research on the “pingdianpai” of the Qing dynasty)”. Hongloumeng Xuekan 红楼梦学刊 1997,no.2.

HUANG I-fen, “Gender, Technical Innovation, and Gu Family Embroidery in Late-Ming Shanghai.” East Asian Science, Technology and Medicine 36 (2012): 77-129. Embroidery as an artistic enterprise.

Huang, Martin.  Intimate Memory: Gender and Mourning in Late Imperial China.  Albany: State University of New York Press, 2018.

JIN Jiang. Women Playing Men: Yue Opera and Social Change in Twentieth-Century China. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011.

Idema, Wilt and Beata Grant. The Red Brush: Writing Women in Late Imperial China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2004.

Jiangsu yiwen zhi 江苏艺文志, Jiangsu renmin chubanshe, 1996.

Knechtges, David. “Estate Culture in Early Modern China: The Case of Shi Chong.” in Wendy Swartz et al, Early Medieval China: A Sourcebook. New York: Columbia University Press, 2014., 530-37.

Kinney, Anne Behnke. Exemplary Women of Early China; The Lienü zhuan of Liu Xiang, Columbia University Press, 2014. A critical look at one of the foundational texts of women’s education.

Levy, Dore. Ideal and Actual in The Story of the Stone (1999).

LI Qiancheng, Fictions of Enlightenment: Journey to the West, Tower of Myriad Mirrors and Dream of the Red Chamber. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2004.

LU Weijing, “A Pearl in the Palm: A Forgotten Symbol of the Father-Daughter Bond.” Late Imperial China 31:1 (2010) 62-97.

McMahon, Keith. “Eliminating Traumatic Antimonies: Sequels to Honglou meng” in Martin W. Huang, ed. Snakes Legs: Sequels, Continuations, Rewritings and Chinese Fiction.  Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2004. 98-115. An examination of sequels to the novel by a distinguished literary scholar.

Mann, Susan. Precious Records: Women in China’s Long Eighteenth Century.  Stanford, Ca.: Stanford University Press, 1997.

Mann, Susan. The Talented Women of the Zhang Family. Berkeley:  University of California Press, 2007.

Naquin, Susan and Evelyn Rawski. Chinese Society in the Eighteenth Century. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989. Still the best general introduction to Chinese society in the eighteenth century.

Rawski, Evelyn. The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001.

Renditions: A Chinese-English Translation Magazine. Numbers 81 and 82 (2014).  Special issue on traditional Chinese fiction commentary.

Rolston, David L. ed. How to Read the Chinese Novel. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990.

Rolston, David L. Traditional Chinese Fiction and Fiction Commentary. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997.

Saussy, Haun. “The Age of Attribution: Or, How the ‘Honglou meng’ Finally Acquired an Author”  Chinese Literature: Essays, Articles, Reviews (CLEAR), vol. 25 (2003), pp.119-132.

Schonebaum,  Andrew. Novel Medicine: Healing, Literature, and Popular Knowledge in Early Modern China. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2018.

Silberstein, Rachel, A Fashionable Century: Textile Artistry and Commerce in the Late Qing. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2020.

Silberstein, Rachel.  “Cloud Collars and Sleeve Bands: Commercial Embroidery and the Fashionable Accessory in Mid-to-late Qing China.” Fashion Theory (2016) Embroidery as commercial activity.

Spence, Jonathan. Ts’ao Yin and the K’ang-hsi Emperor: Bondservant and Master.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966. On Cao Xueqin’s grandfather’s career, with some information on Cao Xueqin himself.

Wagner, Marsha. “Maids and Servants in Dream of the Red Chamber: Individuality and the Social Order.” in Expressions of Self in Chinese Literature. Robert E. Hegel and Richard C. Hessney. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985.

Waltner, Ann. “Les Noces Chinoises: An Eighteenth-century French Representation of a Chinese Wedding Procession” in Beverly Bossler, ed. Gender and History: Transformative Encounters (University of Washington Press: 2015), 21-39

Waltner, Ann.”On Not Becoming a Heroine: Lin Dai-yu and Cui Ying-ying.” Signs 15:1 (1989) 61-78.

Wei, Shang. “Truth Becomes Fiction When Fiction Is True: The Story of the Stone and
the Visual Culture of the Manchu Court.” Journal of Chinese Literature and Culture 2:1 (2015) 207-248.

Widmer, Ellen. The Beauty and the Book: Women and Fiction in Nineteenth-century China.  Harvard University Press, 2006. Key work for thinking about women as readers of Honglou meng.

Widmer, Ellen, “Extreme Makeover: Daiyu and Baochai in Two Early Sequels to Honglou Meng,” Nannu 8:2 (2006) 

WU Hung, “Beyond Stereotypes: The Twelve Beauties in Qing Court Art and the ‘Dream of the Red Chamber.’ in Ellen Widmer and Kang-i Sun Chang, eds. Writing Women in Late Imperial China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997.

YANG Binbin, “A Disease of Passion: The ‘Self-Iconizing’ Project of an Eighteenth-Century Chinese Woman Poet, Jin Yi (1769–1794)” Journal of Women’s History, 24:3 62-90.

Yisu 一粟 Hongloumeng juan. Beijing: Zhonghua, 1963.

Yu, Anthony. Rereading the Stone: Desire and the Making of Fiction in Dream of the Red Chamber. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1997.

ZHOU Ruchang, Between Noble and Humble: Cao Xueqin and the Dream of the Red Chamber. Edited by Ronald R. Gray and Mark S. Ferrara. Translated by Liangmei Bao and Kyongsook Park. New York: Peter Lang, 2009.

The Chinese-language scholarship on the novel is so extensive that I will make no attempt to introduce it here. (Schonebaum and Lu, listed above, has a good introduction.)

For those of you who read Chinese and are particularly interested in the novel and female readers, the following  articles might be of interest:

Wu Yanling 吴艳玲. “Qingdai houqi nüxing wenxue chuangzuo ticai yu Honglou meng deyingxiang” 清代后期女性文学创作题材与《红楼梦》的影响 Honglou meng xuekan 5(2006): 294-308.

Zhan Song 詹颂. “Lun Qingdai Nüxing de Honglou meng pinglun” 论清代女性的《红楼梦》评论 (Criticism of Honglou meng by Qing Dynasty Women Writers) Honglou meng xuekan 6(2006): 135-160.

Wang Lijian 王力堅. “Qingdai caiyuan Honglou tiyong” 清代才媛紅樓題詠的型態分類及其文化意涵〉《江西師範大學學報》45:5 (2012), 48-59.

The most convenient source for writings by Qing dynasty women (in Chinese) is the Ming-Qing Women’s Writing Project, edited by Grace Fong.

Sources for images:

Aying, Hong lou meng ban hua ji, Shanghai chu ban she, 1955

Sun Wen, A Dream of Red Mansions, As Portrayed through the Brush of Sun Wen.   New York: Better Link Press, 2010.

Zeitlin, Judith and Li Yuhang, Performing Images: Opera in Chinese Visual Culture, Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, 2014

Zhongguo lidai fushi. Shanghai. Xuexsh chuban she, 1991.

Zhongguo Yangliuqing nianhua xianban xuan  中国杨柳青年画线版选,Tianjin: Tianjin Yangliuqing nianhua chubanshe, 1999

Zhongguo yangliuqqing muban nianhua ji, 中国楊柳青木版年畫集 edited by Li Zhiqiang 李志強. Wang Shucun 王樹村 and Sun Baofa 孫寶發. Tianjin: Tianjin Yangliuqing nianhua chubanshe, 1992,

PDF of suggestions for further reading

Suggestions for Further Reading For a pdf file of suggestions for further reading, click on the link.

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Dream of the Red Chamber by Ann Waltner is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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