"A highly ambitious and thoughtful approach to a complex and intriguing subject. Li discusses convincingly how Ming-Qing women's literary discourse both relates, and challenges, the existing power (mainly male) structures in Chinese literature. A very important book."
-Kang-I Sun Chang, co-editor of Women Writers of Traditional China and The Cambridge History of Chinese Literature
"An important addition to the study of Ming-Qing women [that]...ground[s] the study of poetic images and syntax in the contexts of women's experience as readers, writers, and historical agents."
"Xiaorong Li's book opens up this lost world for readers. . . . This book offers an insightful peep into the inner chambers of late-imperial China. It is just as suitable for general readers as it is for those who have foundational knowledge of Chinese history and literature. . . . [A]n enjoyable introduction to Chinese women's history."
-Queenie Kwan Yee Lo, New England Journal of History
"[A]n illuminating study of Chinese women's poetry from the late Ming to the early Republic, focusing on the trope of the gui ("boudoir" or "inner quarters"). . . . In giving sensitive translations and insightful commentaries on this "boudoir" poetr, Xiaorong Li has demonstrated its relevance far beyond the inner quarters in documenting three centuries of women's participation in social, political and cultural change."
-Paul S. Ropp, China Quarterly, The