When Taiwanese author Qiu Miaojin ended her life in 1995, she left behind her final work, the experimental novel Last Words from Montmartre. This article outlines some of the challenges in translating Qiu Miaojin's novel from Chinese to English. Structured as a series of letters to mirror the novel's own epistolary form, the article discusses how, supported by the novel's constructed chaos, Qiu's narrator occupies several distinct genders over the course of the novel. The authors argue that what might be construed in certain Western literary traditions as the novel's excessive emotionality is in fact a radical act of expression and even resistance to prevailing calls for queer “reticence” in the time and place of its production.

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