Women Chan Masters of Seventeenth-Century China

The seventeenth century is generally acknowledged as one of the most politically tumultuous but culturally creative periods of late imperial Chinese history. Scholars have noted the profound effect on, and literary responses to, the fall of the Ming on the male literati elite. Also of great interest is the remarkable emergence beginning in the late Ming of educated women as readers and, more importantly, writers. Only recently beginning to be explored, however, are such seventeenth-century religious phenomena as “the reinvention” of Chan Buddhism—a concerted effort to revive what were believed to be the traditional teachings, texts, and practices of “classical” Chan. And, until now, the role played by women in these religious developments has hardly been noted at all. Eminent Nuns: Women Chan Masters of Seventeenth-Century China, by Beata Grant, is an innovative interdisciplinary work that brings together several of these important seventeenth-century trends.

July 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3202-5 / $46.00 (CLOTH)

Bridal Laments in Rural China

Performing Grief: Bridal Laments in Rural China, by Anne E. McLaren, is the first in-depth study of Chinese bridal laments, a ritual and performative art practiced by Chinese women in premodern times that gave them a rare opportunity to voice their grievances publicly. Drawing on methodologies from numerous disciplines, including performance arts and folk literatures, the author suggests that the ability to move an audience through her lament was one of the most important symbolic and ritual skills a Chinese woman could possess before the modern era.

July 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3232-2 / $54.00 (CLOTH)

Performing Grief introduces us to the fascinating culture of the bridal lament. Drawing upon the rich materials from the small village of Shuyuan in Nanhui near Shanghai for her primary materials, the author reconstructs a once vibrant culture in which young women on the eve of their wedding voiced their anxieties in ritual songs. The study is based on extensive local research, makes full use of the existing scholarship on female traditions of lament inside and outside China, and illustrates its argument with the almost complete translation of one of the most fully preserved cycle of laments. This study is an absolute must for anyone who is interested in the position of women in traditional society until quite recently. It also is essential reading for anyone working in the field of Chinese women’s literature as it highlights the rich oral traditions of poor rural women.” –Wilt Idema, Harvard University

A Distinctive History of Haena

Ha‘ena is a land steeped in antiquity yet vibrantly beautiful today as any Hollywood fantasy of a tropical paradise. He ‘aina momona, a rich and fertile land linked to the sea and the rising and setting sun, is a place of gods and goddesses: Pele and her sister, Hi‘iaka, and Laka, patron of hula. It epitomizes the best that can be found in the district of northwestern Kaua‘i, known to aboriginal Hawaiians as Hale Le‘a (House of Pleasure and Delight). Ha‘ena: Through the Eyes of Ancestors, by Carlos Andrade, is an ambitious attempt to provide a unique perspective in the complex story of the ahupua‘a of Ha‘ena.

July 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3119-6 / $30.00 (CLOTH)

Our Great Qing Now Available in Paperback

Our Great Qing: The Mongols, Buddhism, and the State in Late Imperial China, by Johan Elverskog, is now available in paperback.

“Elverskog’s book is a pleasure to read, managing as it does to weave together a detailed knowledge of modern Mongol history and the broad scope of its relevance for Asian history. His research is solidly based in the classics of Mongol history, as well as close readings of an impressive array of archive materials . . . made accessible to the non-specialist here for the first time. He frames his arguments within a wide-ranging body of theoretical work covering both religion and politics. At the same time, this book is refreshingly comparative, especially in terms of other empires (from the Roman to the British).” —Journal of Chinese Religions

“Masterful . . . represents an important contribution to the ‘new Qing history’ that is now changing the image of late imperial China by offering more nuanced interpretations of this period.” —International Journal of Asian Studies

July 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3330-5 / $23.00 (PAPER)

Racial Performativity and World War II

In The Spectacle of Japanese American Trauma: Racial Performativity and World War II, Emily Roxworthy contests the notion that the U.S. government’s internment policies during World War II had little impact on the postwar lives of most Japanese Americans. After the curtain was lowered on the war following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, many Americans behaved as if the “theatre of war” had ended and life could return to normal. Roxworthy demonstrates that this theatrical logic of segregating the real from the staged, the authentic experience from the political display, grew out of the manner in which internment was agitated for and instituted by the U.S. government and media. During the war, Japanese Americans struggled to define themselves within the web of this theatrical logic, and they continue to reenact this trauma in public and private to this day.

July 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3220-9 / $35.00 (CLOTH)

“This is an original and well-written analysis, contributing much to the literature on internment and, thereby, re-energizing the ideological stages of internment discourse.” —Caroline Chung Simpson, University of Washington

New Edition of Popular Divorce Guide Now Available

Praise for the Second Edition:
“An impressively detailed, insightful, and compassionate guide.” —Honolulu Advertiser
“Jewelry stores should hand this book out with the purchase of every engagement ring.” —Honolulu Magazine

This completely revised and updated third edition of the award-winning
Divorce with Decency: The Complete How-To Handbook and Survivor’s Guide to the Legal, Emotional, Economic, and Social Issues, by Bradley A. Coates, includes the most current research, statistics, and insights on the effects of divorce on spouses, their children, and society overall. Written by a prominent divorce lawyer with more than thirty years of experience, it is the most comprehensive treatment of the legal, emotional, economic, psychological, and social aspects of marital relationships and divorce available anywhere in a single volume.

A Latitude 20 Book
July 2008 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3310-7 / $19.95 (PAPER)