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Date 2021-03-12


The Literary Career of Taiwanese Author Liang-hui (Gloria) Kuo in Hong Kong as an Example of Taiwan-Hong Kong Cultural Exchange in the 1950s


Wang, Yu-Ting

Associate Professor, Institute of Taiwan Literature, National Tsing Hua University


During the 1950s, U.S.-aid-supported literary and cultural journals were an important platform for literary exchange between Taiwan and Hong Kong and helped make Hong Kong a popular destination for Taiwan’s female authors. Furthermore, contemporary U.S. Information Service (USIS) cultural policies actively promoted close cultural and literary exchanges between these two political entities. This article uses the activities in Hong Kong of Liang-hui (Gloria) Kuo, Taiwan’s “most beautiful” author, to elucidate the complex nature of the cultural-political landscape and the cultural exchanges that occurred between Taiwan and Hong Kong during this period of recent modern history. Key issues discussed include: the contemporary conditions that encouraged the literary community in Hong Kong to embrace Kuo’s USIS-sponsored literary works and the creative position of Kuo in the context of Hong Kong’s contemporary literary community. The ferment that erupted over Kuo’s work Lock of the Heart highlights the stark differences in cultural attitudes that prevailed in Taiwan and Hong Kong at that time, which may be attributed to contemporary anxieties in Taiwan over the future of Chinese nationalism and to Hong Kong’s staunch support of freedom of expression. Her handling of these issues in this book further highlights Kuo’s complex identity and heterogeneity within Taiwan’s community of female authors. In the sociopolitical context of the “southern diaspora” of Chinese scholars, which affected both Taiwan and Hong Kong, the catalogue of works produced by Liang-hui Kuo in the 1950s reveal her attitudes toward contemporary gender politics and her approach to Taiwan-Hong Kong / cross-cultural exchange in terms of the contemporary dialogue between “Chineseness” and modernity.

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Bulletin of Taiwanese Literature