YUAN QIONGQIONG, A.K.A. YUAN CH’IUNG-CH’IUNG (1950— ) - The Dictionary

Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

The Dictionary

YUAN QIONGQIONG, A.K.A. YUAN CH’IUNG-CH’IUNG (1950— ). A product of the feminist movement that swept Taiwan from the 1970s to the 1980s, Yuan Qiongqiong used her writings to call attention to women in modern Taiwanese society. Her work reflects the social and cultural changes as women seek to achieve gender equality and self-identity by challenging the patriarchal tradition and its impact on women’s psychological well-being. Focusing on women’s attitudes toward love and sexuality, Yuan paints women trapped in unhappy relationships, struggling to find their own voices. “Ziji de tiankong” (A Sky of One’s Own), published in 1996, traces the trajectory of the protagonist from a submissive and needy wife to a self-confident and financially independent woman after her divorce. Despite her sympathy for the feminist movement, Yuan did not see herself as a social commentator. In this respect, she is different from other feminist writers of Taiwan, such as Li Ang and Liao Huiying, whose writings have greater social and political implications. Yuan puts the spotlight on the individual’s sexual or psychological frustrations. The best of her stories have a subtle and ironic tone. Her other published fictional works include short story collections Chun shui chuan (Spring Water Boat) and Huanxiang zhi chong (Fantasy Bug), as well as a novel, Jin sheng yuan (Predestined to Meet).

In addition to fiction, Yuan also writes poetry, essays, and film and television scripts. She has won several literary awards, including Taiwan’s Unitas Literature Award.