Forming a Local Identity: Romance Novels in Hong Kong

Publication year

I'm not sure how many of the novels discussed are actually "romance novels" in the sense of having one central romantic relationship and an ending in which the relationship is ongoing and positive. The descriptions tend to either suggest not or focus on issues other than a central romantic relationship: "Sung [...] summarized Yi Da's works into the following features: stereotypical characters, standard occasions of how boy meets girl, how boy betrays girl, and how the girl's mother is always there to receive the fallen girl with open arms" (183) and "Many critics and literary historians regard Yi Shu's work as not depicting love, but actually describing a process of life and proving indirectly the impossibility and absence of love altogether" (184) and "The other writers are not all similar to Zhang, but the general atmosphere constructed in the works is toward the same direction - an emphasis on the aloneness of the women in love. Contemporary young women in Hong Kong are depicted as powerfully alone because the mother figure is no longer reliable as a source of support" (193).