Asian Cities

Shanghai Literary Imaginings: A City in Transformation

Lena Scheen

Shanghai is a city in flux. In recent years, workers and machines have frantically destroyed large parts of the city to build a new one. But the mental maps and personal memories of its citizens are not as easily erased. Shanghai Literary Imaginings: A City in Transformation explores the social, cultural and mental impact of Shanghai’s recent urbanization process, providing a unique overview of contemporary Shanghainese literary culture.

Lena Scheen is Assistant Professor Faculty Fellow at New York University Shanghai (NYU Shanghai). Her publications include the edited volume Spectacle and the City: Chinese Urbanities in Popular Culture and Art (with Jeroen de Kloet, Amsterdam University Press, 2013).

‘Lena Scheen writes a lucid and compelling account of literature written amidst Shanghai’s sweeping transformations from 1990-2010. She evokes lived experiences of the city via literary and cultural analysis informed by field research on influential authors, their texts and their public reception. Shanghai Literary Imaginings is essential reading on turn-of-the-millennium Shanghai literary culture.’

Robin Visser, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

‘Shanghai Literary Imaginings offers significant new insights into contemporary Chinese urban culture from a highly innovative methodological perspective. Its truly disciplinary approach makes Shanghai Literary Imaginings stand out from other books that comment on contemporary Chinese city life.’

Michel Hockx, Director SOAS China Institute, London