Western Queers in China: Flight to the Land of Oz

( 1 )

Overview

This unique work examines the role played by sexuality in the historical encounter between China and the West. Distinguished historian D. E. Mungello focuses especially on Western homosexuals who saw China as a place of escape from the homophobia of Europe and North America. His groundbreaking study traces the lives of two dozen men, many previously unknown to have same-sex desire, who fled to China and in the process influenced perceptions of Chinese culture to this day. Their individual stories encompass flight...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $13.20   
  • New (3) from $53.78   
  • Used (3) from $13.20   
Western Queers in China: Flight to the Land of Oz

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$35.99
BN.com price
(Save 40%)$59.99 List Price

Overview

This unique work examines the role played by sexuality in the historical encounter between China and the West. Distinguished historian D. E. Mungello focuses especially on Western homosexuals who saw China as a place of escape from the homophobia of Europe and North America. His groundbreaking study traces the lives of two dozen men, many previously unknown to have same-sex desire, who fled to China and in the process influenced perceptions of Chinese culture to this day. Their individual stories encompass flight from homophobia in their home countries, the erotic attraction of Chinese boy-actors, friendships with Chinese men, intellectual connections with the Chinese, and the reorientation of Western aesthetics toward China.

Mungello explores historical attitudes and the atmosphere of oppression toward men with same-sex desire as he recounts the intensification of repression of queers in Europe and North America in the late nineteenth-century. He shows how China became a place of escape, a homosexual “land of Oz” where men could flee from the closets of their minds. Some traveled to China and lived there; others immersed themselves in Chinese culture at a distance. Most established long-term friendships and acted as cultural intermediaries who opened the aesthetic range of Western culture to a new sense of beauty and a fresh source of inspiration for poets, artists, and dramatists. Their “boys”—Chinese males whose services were available at low cost as messengers, rickshaw pullers, guides, cooks, entertainers, escorts, and prostitutes—were transformed into a universal metaphor of Chinese culture that lingers to this day. Indeed, outside men’s range of relationships, intellectual and physical, have had a profound impact in shaping the modern Western conception of China.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

T. H. Barrett
This is a fascinating read for anyone involved with China. David Mungello's novel focus on sexual orientation and Sinology illuminates the individuality of these cultural pioneers to striking effect.
Giovanni Vitiello
This is a fascinating journey into the lives of a number of Western men who, especially at the turn of last century, felt irresistibly attracted to China, traveled there, and sometimes made it their home. Aesthetes and art collectors, pharmacists, poets and opera fans, eccentric Sinologists—what drew these men to China? Many of them, David Mungello suggests, shared a most private and powerful secret—their homosexuality. Much has been written about orientalists as complicit agents of the colonial enterprise. Mungello’s book offers a corrective, showing that at least some of them might have been sexual refugees more than anything else.
Journal of Asian Studies - John Whittier Treat
This is a heartfelt tour of sinology’s gay male closet, the door for some of the scholars and ‘aesthetes’ who journeyed from the West to China locked more tightly than for others. By consulting archives and attempting personal contact with surviving family and friends (not all of whom agreed to talk), historian Mungello tells the ‘story of how twenty-three different men with same-sex desire fled to China and influenced history.’ . . . Throughout, Mungello asks a familiar question—What links a (Western, male) homosexual orientation with a passion for Asia?—but from a newer perspective: China hands in the Age of Imperialism. His book is informed, entertaining, and melancholy in equal measure. The heart may be unfathomable, but Mungello has proven it is there.
Nan Nü
D. E. Mungello explores the fascinating question of why so many gay men have been attracted to China, and what impact their enthusiasm has had on Western perceptions of that country. Instead of seeing Orientalism from the standpoint of the Asian subaltern, the reader is shown how generations of gay men have turned to China as a psychological, aesthetic, and even legal refuge. ... A valuable contribution to our understanding of imperialism, Orientalism, and gay history. Mungello demonstrates the surprisingly important role that gay men have had in eliciting Western awareness of China’s profoundly rich aesthetic and intellectual heritage. He also suggests how homoeroticism has shaped Western scholarship and literature about China. Readers cannot help but come away with a fresh view of the history of Sino-Western interactions.
Nan Nü - Bret Hinsch
D. E. Mungello explores the fascinating question of why so many gay men have been attracted to China, and what impact their enthusiasm has had on Western perceptions of that country. Instead of seeing Orientalism from the standpoint of the Asian subaltern, the reader is shown how generations of gay men have turned to China as a psychological, aesthetic, and even legal refuge. . . . A valuable contribution to our understanding of imperialism, Orientalism, and gay history. Mungello demonstrates the surprisingly important role that gay men have had in eliciting Western awareness of China’s profoundly rich aesthetic and intellectual heritage. He also suggests how homoeroticism has shaped Western scholarship and literature about China. Readers cannot help but come away with a fresh view of the history of Sino-Western interactions.
Women and Gender in Chinese Studies Review
Mungello has succeeded in vividly, empathetically and convincingly characterising a wide array of queer men, while acknowledging any gaps or uncertainties in the evidence. The book is a lucid, focused and coherent study on an under-researched topic, and deserves special respect for its broadening of the focus of LGBT/Queer research within Chinese Studies.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442215566
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/16/2012
  • Pages: 212
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

D. E. Mungello is professor of history at Baylor University.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Chapter 1: Flight to the Land of Oz
Chapter 2: The Exotic Appeal of Chinese Boy-Actors
Chapter 3:Establishing Friendships in Imperial China
Chapter 4: Establishing Friendships in Post-1911 China
Chapter 5: Establishing Intellectual Connections with China
Chapter 6: The Reorientation of Western Aesthetics
Epilogue

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2014

    We Ride West Tomorrow (Chapter One)

    "Emily! Emily! Emi-lyyyyyy! Get up!" Kevin shouts frantically. "Emi- Get up! Why won't you wake, momma? What's wrong?" Kevin shakes his mother harder, becoming confused and frustrated. "Momma?" Though Kevin was a young boy, Hewwo had always been a smart one. The young boy leans down, and softly puts his warm hand to his mother's face. He immediately jerked his hand back, tears forming in his eyes. "No... Emily, NO!!!" <p> Six Years Later... <p> Kevin picks up the stringy hay bale and loads it into the back of the truck. "Papa, when will we be done? All this work is making me tired!" Kevin complains. <br> Daniel looks down at his son, smiling. "Patience, my boy. Patience." Daniel answers, picking up a hay bale. He throws it into the back of the truck, and turns to his son, running his hand through his son's soft, blonde hair. "Emily would be so proud of you.." <br> Kevin looks away, uncomfortable talking about his adopted mother's death. "I never called her momma, for she couldn't replace my real mother, but Emily was an important part in my life. The day she had died, I was going to tell her that i decided to call her momma. But when I went to wake her up for breakfast, she was cold. The doctors said she died in her sleep from an overdose, but I think it was something else that killed her. What that was, I've no clue. But I plan to figure it out..." The boy thinks. <br> Daniel looks down, sensing his son's discomfort. "Alright. We're done for the day. Let's go make some sandwiches for lunch. Sound good?" <br> Kevin nods, slightly looking downcast. "Yes, papa. That sounds good." <br> Daniel sighs, and pats his son on the back, before heading towards the house, the sun beating down on his face. <br> Kevin follows, his dad's tall figure blocking out the sun.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)