Handbook of Modern and Contemporary Japanese Women Writers
Amsterdam University Press
The Handbook of Modern and Contemporary Japanese Women Writers offers a comprehensive overview of women writers in Japan, from the late 19th century to the early 21st. Featuring 24 newly written contributions from scholars in the field—representing expertise from North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia—the Handbook introduces and analyzes works by modern and contemporary women writers that coalesce loosely around common themes, tropes, and genres. Putting writers from different generations in conversation with one another reveals the diverse ways they have responded to similar subjects. Whereas women writers may have shared concerns—the pressure to conform to gendered expectation, the tension between family responsibility and individual interests, the quest for self-affirmation—each writer invents her own approach. As readers will see, we have writers who turn to memoir and autobiography, while others prefer to imagine fabulous fictional worlds. Some engage with the literary classics—whether Japanese, Chinese, or European—and invest their works with rich intertextual allusions. Other writers grapple with colonialism, militarism, nationalism, and industrialization. This Handbook builds a foundation which invites readers to launch their own investigations into women’s writing in Japan.
Rebecca Copeland, professor of modern Japanese literature at Washington University in St. Louis, is the author of Lost Leaves: Women Writers of Meiji Japan (Hawai’i UP, 2000), editor of Woman Critiqued: Translated Essays on Japanese Women’s Writing (Hawai’i UP, 2006), and co-editor with Melek Ortabasi of The Modern Murasaki: Selected Works by Women Writers of Meiji Japan 1885-1912 (Columbia UP, 2006), among other works. She has also translated the works of Uno Chiyo, Hirabayashi Taiko, and Kirino Natsuo and has recently completed the novel The Kimono Tattoo (Brother Mockingbird, 2021).