Rebecca Weiner


Jeffrey C. Kinkley, Chinese Justice, The Fiction: Law and Literature in Modern China. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000. Pp. xi, 497. $70.50.

Jeffrey Kinkley's Chinese Justice, The Fiction is an ambitious book. He seeks to summarize China's rich history of largely untranslated detective fiction, while describing China's evolving legal system and drawing parallels between them. Further, Kinkley claims "theoretical aspirations":

"Through crime fiction, I hope to illuminate China's new legal culture (the thought and habits affecting legal behavior) and the predicament of all modern Chinese literature. Relevant to the latter are its historical and social contexts, modes of genre formation, and social levels; buffeting by party, state and patriotic norms; and relations to other institutions and ideas."

It's a tall order.