Mixed race child zigzags through Shanghai world

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive on 2017-04-03 02:37Z by Steven

Mixed race child zigzags through Shanghai world

Otago Daily Times

Jessie Neilson, Library Assistant
University of Otago

Janie Chang
William Morrow
(Harper Collins Publishers)

Janie Chang’s second novel, Dragon Springs Road, details a landscape of memories, where traditional spiritual beliefs coexist with more modern ways of living.

Author Janie Chang, a Taiwanese Canadian, draws on her own family heritage and ancestors’ beliefs in her second novel.

It is 1908, the Year of the Monkey, Dragon Springs Road, Shanghai. In a traditional, affluent Chinese housing complex, a young girl is abandoned by her mother, with little explanation.

The 7-year-old, Jialing, is Eurasian, or za zhong, as strangers insult her, and as such is treated with contempt by most of society. She has little chance of education or opportunity beyond prostitution, but fortunes look up when she is taken under the wing of the new family in residence…

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Dragon Springs Road: A Novel

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Media Archive, Novels on 2017-04-02 21:21Z by Steven

Dragon Springs Road: A Novel

William Morrow Paperbacks
400 pages
5.313 in (w) x 8 in (h) x 0.901 in (d)
Paperback ISBN: 9780062388957

Janie Chang

From the author of Three Souls comes a vividly imagined and haunting new novel set in early 20th century Shanghai—a story of friendship, heartbreak, and history that follows a young Eurasian orphan’s search for her long-lost mother.

That night I dreamed that I had wandered out to Dragon Springs Road all on my own, when a dreadful knowledge seized me that my mother had gone away never to return . . .

In 1908, Jialing is only seven years old when she is abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate near Shanghai. Jialing is zazhong—Eurasian—and faces a lifetime of contempt from both Chinese and Europeans. Without her mother’s protection, she can survive only if the estate’s new owners, the Yang family, agree to take her in.

Jialing finds allies in Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the haunted courtyard for centuries. But Jialing’s life as the Yangs’ bondservant changes unexpectedly when she befriends a young English girl who then mysteriously vanishes.

Always hopeful of finding her long-lost mother, Jialing grows into womanhood during the tumultuous early years of the Chinese republic, guided by Fox and by her own strength of spirit, away from the shadows of her past. But she finds herself drawn into a murder at the periphery of political intrigue, a relationship that jeopardizes her friendship with Anjuin and a forbidden affair that brings danger to the man she loves.

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The Eurasian in Shanghai

Posted in Articles, Asian Diaspora, Media Archive, Social Science on 2010-11-27 20:19Z by Steven

The Eurasian in Shanghai

The American Journal of Sociology
Volume 41, Number 5 (March, 1936)
pages 642-648

Herbert Day Lamson

Although hybrid offspring tend to form an intermediary group of cultural contact between the native and the alien in societies where they are found, the Eurasian in Shanghai finds himself discriminated against by both parent-stocks. Since his father is often a poorly paid transient and his mother frequently is from the servant class, his biological inheritance is low grade and his opportunities for educational and social advantages few. The cultural blending of the white and the yellow races that has gone forward has not come through the Eurasian, but through the large number of the upper strata of natives who have visited and studied in foreign lands and have brought back varying degrees of that culture.

The Eurasian in Shanghai occupies an intermediate position biologically, and somewhat socially in so far as he is the subject of social discrimination at the hands of both alien and native groups. Over the mixed blood hovers the traditional stigma of illegitimacy. The ostracism is not absolute, there are no lynchings and no laws against mixture, but, granted this prejudice on the part of the two parent-groups, the hybrid offspring differ outstandingly. Not that they are biologic freaks, but the fact of being “half-caste” gives thejn a position in the social structure which interferes with their mobility and social contacts even in a so-called cosmopolitan society. For this reason this intermixture has important sociological consequences.

Each of the ethnic groups, the native and the alien in Shanghai, has tended to remain socially somewhat isolated from the other, though individuals have, through legal or illegal mating, produced a group of hybrid offspring of varying nationalities. This has come about chiefly through the taking of native women by alien men. The resulting mixed bloods have been subjected to estrangement and isolation. The British brought with them from India their prejudice against the half-caste, and the alien population has been strongly influenced by this point of view. On the whole, the Chinese disapprove of miscegenation and discriminate against the hybrid, especially if the latter has hybrid-racial visibility and follows the alien in belittling the native. This is one reason why the Eurasian…

Read or purchase the article here.

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