Mabel Cheung Yuen-Ting’s An Autumn’s Tale


Stacilee Ford

ISBN : 978-962-209-894-7

Film, Media, Fine Arts The New Hong Kong Cinema

April 2008

142 pages, 5.5″ x 7.5″

  • HK$195.00

This study of An Autumn’s Tale argues that Hong Kong films are a window into understanding the shared pasts and ongoing connections between Hong Kong and other globalized cities. Viewed through the lens of transnational American Studies, the film sheds important insights on both Hong Kong and U.S. history, culture, and identity.

Through this important film from a woman director, the author explores the way Hong Kong and the U.S. have been and continue to be connected through flows of people, ideas, and events that make their impact known on both sides of the Pacific. The book reminds readers of the importance of seeing Hong Kong films as cultural texts that address historical events, socio-economic shifts, and the impact of those events on individual lives.

With its focus on migration and migrants, An Autumn’s Tale especially benefits from the transnational American studies perspective that Dr. Ford brings to her examination. This exciting new field draws from the best of many disciplinary perspectives as well as interdisciplinary perspectives in cultural and postcolonial studies with an eye towards understanding how national identity is both fluid and resilient, even in these global times.

The book is readable and teachable for those looking to understand connections between the U.S. and Asia during the closing years of the twentieth century during a dynamic period—the 1980s—in both Hong Kong and New York.

Stacilee Ford teaches history and American Studies in the University of Hong Kong. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Brigham Young University, and postgraduate degrees from Harvard University (Ed.M.), Columbia University (Ed.D.), and the University of Hong Kong (Ph.D.). She has published articles on Hong Kong film, student identity in Hong Kong, various aspects of American studies outside of the U.S., and women’s history with a particular focus on American women in Hong Kong.

“This monograph is a meticulous, in-depth study of an important film by a leading woman director of the Hong Kong New Wave. It is rich in historical contextualization and astute in critical engagement. While zeroing in on a single film, the author sheds new light on the nature of diaspora studies as well as the dynamics of transnational cinematic culture.” —Sheldon Lu, Professor of Comparative Literature, University of California, Davis

“Stacilee Ford’s examination of An Autumn’s Tale is a gem of a book that eloquently illuminates cross-cultural perspectives. Her study, grounded in a Hong Kong specific socio-economic moment, reveals the multiple levels at which a product of popular culture can be explored. She effortlessly guides the reader through the diverse disciplines with which the film engages. Ford’s erudition is tempered by a deep empathy and a gentle wit. Her direct style draws in the reader, making the book eminently accessible to lay reader and scholar alike.” —Geetanjali Singh Chanda, Senior Lecturer, Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, Yale University

“Stacilee Ford has written a fresh and astute work of interdisciplinary scholarship that situates An Autumn’s Tale within a number of social, cultural, historical, and industrial contexts. Ford’s great insight is to read the film through the critical lens of transnational American Studies. This is an original and important work that should be read by students of American Studies, immigrant and diasporic studies, Asian American Studies, and Asian cinema studies.” —Christina Klein, Associate Professor of English, Boston College