This is an enlightening book. Before picking it up, the reader might have expected to see a collection of essays discussing contemporary transgender communities and issues in China. Instead, what the reader encounters here is a surprisingly diverse set of writings exploring gender variance from antiquity to the present, utilizing especially medical, religious, literary, and popular cultural sources. Topics range from Buddhist and Daoist imaginings of gender androgyny; the problem of writing eunuchism and castration into history; transgender representations in literature, art, theater, film, and television; to transgender activism in present-day Hong Kong. The diversity in periods, representational genres, and methods creates the impression of a cacophonous chorus, but in a good way. Rather than foist on the reader a single master narrative about what transgender China is or how it has evolved, the volume offers snapshots of multiple strands of history...
Book Review|November 01 2015
TSQ (2015) 2 (4): 725-728.
Tze-Lan D. Sang; Magnificent Reincarnations. TSQ 1 November 2015; 2 (4): 725–728. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/23289252-3151682
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