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Chinese-Australian fiction: a hybrid narrative of the Chinese Diaspora in Australia

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Liu, XR (2007) Chinese-Australian fiction: a hybrid narrative of the Chinese Diaspora in Australia. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis seeks to discover the diasporic themes and hybrid values in the crosscultural
and transnational experiences of the Chinese diaspora as embodied in
Chinese-Australia fiction.
The thesis uses the concept of hybridity to balance the tension between Chinese and
Anglo-centric perspectives. It offers insights of someone who is both an academic
researcher and a diasporic novelist. Although it refers to Chinese-Australian works
written in English or translated from Chinese, its main focus is on ChineseAustralian
fiction in Chinese. Through my bilingual skills, it overcomes a major
limitation in previous research in English in Australia-the absence of critiques of
works in Chinese that remain untranslated. Also, it uses a multi cultural method to
address the limitation of censorship or China-centric vision that characterises existing
critiques in Chinese. This thesis is the first study in English to focus totally on
Chinese-Australian fiction, and fills a gap of existing knowledge in Chinese critical
circles as well.
In my findings, Chinese-Australian fiction, especially in Chinese, not only makes an
original contribution to Chinese diasporic literature but also to the Australian migrant
literature. Through its multiculturar stance, it comprises a valued addition to the
voices of Australian literature, presenting Australia's social conditions and customs
in a hybrid narrative. Also, the works extend the scope of overseas Chinese diasporic
stories. My three published novels have been regarded as a 'trilogy' in their
representation of diasporic and cultural themes, representative of different periods of development in contemporary Chinese-Australian literature. One focus of the thesis
is what my novels have done differently from other Chinese-Australian fiction.
This thesis illustrates Western theories of exile, diasporic experience and the concept
of hybridity through detailed analysis on Chinese-Australian fiction. ChineseAustralian
fiction articulates the Chinese diasporic experience from the gold rush to
modem times in Australia using metaphors for push-pull factors in migration. The
outstanding works overcome the limitations of traditional Chinese fiction which is
characterised by obsession with China.
Moreover, Chinese-Australian fiction creates modem and historical images of
Chinese. Active Chinese figures of gold diggers and their descendants replace the
passive stereotypes of Australian English fiction. Moving beyond the identity anxiety
of Who am 1, the characters go beyond cultural differences and form a hybrid culture
with the cultural confidence of 1 like who 1 am, and 1 like what 1 do. ChineseAustralian
fiction illuminates cross-cultural interaction during the 150 year-long
Chinese diaspora in Australia.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2007 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2011 05:35
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 22:19
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