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Prof. Sherry Mou's Gentlemen's Prescriptions for Women's Lives is Published

May 17, 2004

May 17, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - Gentlemen's Prescriptions for Women's Lives: A Thousand Years of Biographies of Chinese Women, by Sherry J. Mou, assistant professor of modern languages (Chinese) and Asian Studies at DePauw University, is now available. The book is being distributed by M.E. Sharpe, a privately held publisher of books and journals in the social sciences and humanities.

A summary at the publisher's Web site reads: "As far back as the first century BCE, Chinese dynastic historians -- all men -- began recording the achievements of Chinese women and creating a structure of understanding that would be used to limit and control them. To men, these women became role models for their daughters and wives; to the few literate women readers, they became paradigms for their own behavior. Thus, although these biographies are decriptive by nature, they actually became perscriptive. Gentlemen's Prescriptions for Women's Lives is an enlightening source for studying Chinese women of the Imperial era as well as for understanding Chinese womanhood in general. By contextualizing these biographies, the author shows us these women not just as the complaisant, calm-eyed, delicate figures that adorn Confucian texts, but also as the products of the Confucian tradition's appropriation of women."

Order the book at or read more about it by clicking here.