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Abraham Isaac, teacher of Latin, philosopher and father, has, after many years, a young pupil. Teaching pulls him back into his memories: of Rose, his first love; Mercy, his stubborn sister; and most of all of Rani, his beloved wife. Of days of youth and promise, when he threw himself into the politics of Singapore in the 50s and 60s. Days when temperance and restraint gave way to action and desire. Days when the culture and society of Singapore were defined and moulded. Days when he believed he had a valuable role to play as a proud citizen of a new country. But now he is old, and the burden of his years weighs on him heavily. Distanced from a present devoid of idealism and obsessed with power and money, Abraham is estranged from his strong, successful son. Descending into the past, Abraham is led from the promise of youth, through cynicism born of experience, to an understanding and reconciliation of his life and times hard-won in maturity.
From feminist philosophy to genetic science, scholarship in recent years has succeeded in challenging many entrenched assumptions about the material and biological status of human bodies. Likewise in the study of Chinese cultures, accelerating globalization and the resultant hybridity have called into question previous assumptions about the boundaries of Chinese national and ethnic identity. The problem of identifying a single or definitive referent for the Chinese body is thornier than ever. By facilitating fresh dialogue between fields as diverse as the history of science, literary studies, diaspora studies, cultural anthropology, and contemporary Chinese film and cultural studies, Embodied Modernities addresses contemporary Chinese embodiments as they are represented textually and as part of everyday life practices. The book is divided into two sections, each with a dedicated introduction by the editors. The first examines Thresholds of Modernity in chapters on Chinese body cultures in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries a period of intensive cultural, political, and social modernization that led to a series of radical transformations in how bodies were understood and represented.The second section on Contemporary Embodiments explores body representations across the People s Republic of China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong today. Contributors: Chris Berry, Louise Edwards, Maram Epstein, Larissa Heinrich, Olivia Khoo, Fran Martin, Jami Proctor-Xu, Tze-lan D. Sang, Teri Silvio, Mark Stevenson, Cuncun Wu, Angela Zito, John Zou. “