Title

Review Essay: "I think it’s really about us" : Review of Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan & Wayne Wang's Film Adaptation

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

Neo-Victorian Studies

Publication Date

2011

Volume

4

Issue

1

First Page

191

Last Page

202

Publisher

Swansea University

Abstract

Although set in nineteenth-century China, Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (2005, republished 2011) creates obstacles for neo-Victorian studies. Can – or should – this novel, which does not reference ‘the Victorian’ as such be incorporated into neo-Victorianism’s archive? Of course, this is another way of asking: in what ways is neo-Victorianism constructed by a version of the nineteenth century anchored to the geographical boundaries of the British Empire? An historical novel, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan opens with its narrator, Lily, reminiscing about her birth “on the fifth day of the six month of the third year of Emperor Daoguang’s reign” (p. 9), placing the beginning of the novel, as the foreword has to inform its primarily Western readers, in 1823 and its action well into the nineteenth century. In her old age, Lily is known as the “one who has not yet died” (p. 3); she becomes a potential vehicle for the neo-Victorian, an avatar of the nineteenth-century past that continues to haunt the present.

Print ISSN

17579481

Publisher Statement

Copyright for all material published in Neo-Victorian Studies resides with the journal.

Additional Information

Special Issue: Spectacles and Things: Visual and Material Culture and/in Neo-Victorianism

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Ho, E. (2011). “I think it’s really about us” : Review of Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan & Wayne Wang’s Film Adaptation. Neo-Victorian Studies, 4(2), 191-202.