Only recently has the enormous literary output of women writers of the Ming and Qing periods (1368-1911) been rediscovered. Through these valuable texts, we apprehend in ways not possible earlier the complexity of women s experiences in the inner quarters and their varied responses to challenges facing state and society. Writing in many genres, women engaged with topics as varied as war, travel, illness, love, friendship, female heroism, and religion. Drawing on a library of newly digitized resources, this volume's eleven chapters describe, analyze, and theorize these materials. They question previous assumptions about women s lives and abilities, open up new critical space in Chinese literary history and offer new perspectives on China s culture and society. This volume rewrites the history of Chinese women s literature by taking a truly inter-disciplinary (instead of merely multi-disciplinary) approach. In so doing, it ends up illuminating the centrality of writing women to the social, political, and intellectual lives of the Chinese empire from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. Prof. Dorothy Ko, Barnard College, Columbia University, author of Cinderella's Sisters: A Revisionist History of Footbinding (California, 2005)."