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Qiu Miaojin (1969–1995)

Author of Notes of a Crocodile

6+ Works 572 Members 20 Reviews 3 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the names: 邱妙津, 邱 妙津, Miaojin Qiu

Works by Qiu Miaojin

Associated Works

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2018 (2018) — Contributor — 65 copies
Pathetic Literature (2022) — Contributor — 21 copies
Angelwings: Contemporary Queer Fiction from Taiwan (2003) — Contributor — 18 copies

Tagged

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Qiu Miaojin
Legal name
邱妙津
Other names
Chiu Miao-Chin
Birthdate
1969-05-29
Date of death
1995-06-25
Gender
female
Nationality
Taiwan
Birthplace
Changhua County, Taiwan
Place of death
Paris, France
Places of residence
Taiwan
Paris, France
Education
National Taiwan University
University of Paris VIII
Occupations
writer
journalist

Members

Reviews

 
Flagged
femmedyke | 7 other reviews | Sep 27, 2023 |
This book's achievement is also its weakness: Last Words from Montmartre really does read like a series of letters written by a messy, melodramatic woman in her early 20s who feels like every relationship drama is the end of the world. It's a lot, and my tolerance for this kind of solipsistic, sophomoric navel-gazing is low.

I might have gotten on better with Qiu Miaojin's writing better if there had been more incisiveness to it, if her character portraits had been clearer. But none of the people mentioned here really comes to life or has a distinct voice (it's not even clear how many narrators the book actually has), and a lot of what seem to be intended as profound statements are just rather baffling. For instance, Qiu at one point writes that that the term "'[s]ecular life' assumes a kind of passive, moralistic 'loyalty.'" What this actually means isn't unpacked at all by the narrative voice, but it doesn't make any sense. How does the term do so? What did Qiu think 'secular life' meant? Because it doesn't seem to match what most people would think of the term.

I'm also really uncomfortable at how this book is marketed/discussed as offering some kind of profound insight into queer love, because the relationship(s) Qiu writes about are clearly toxic: full of emotional manipulation (threats of suicide to try to make a partner stay) and physical abuse. This probably came across differently in the mid-90s than it does today, but reading it in the 2020s just made me wince.

Plus, even with the caveat that this is a work in translation, the prose in general has nothing winning to it. Qiu succeeded in writing one of the worst and most confusing descriptions of the female orgasm I've ever read. "She knew what rhythm to follow and when to enter my cunt, to brush against all those obscure curves, the creased cliffs, the canals, climbing the steep slope of arousal and suddenly planting a crimson flag there. The Virgin Mother of burgeoning flowers reproducing asexually and gushing forth in clusters from the slender internal palace..." What.
… (more)
 
Flagged
siriaeve | 7 other reviews | Aug 1, 2023 |
I wrote a review of this book on my blog, overall it was not that interesting and it's unclear what happens at the end of the novel. https://macymakesmagic.com/2018/04/23/notes-of-a-crocodile/
 
Flagged
laurelzito | 11 other reviews | Nov 28, 2022 |
notes of a crocodile by qiu miaojin was a book i was hugely excited for, and it had amazing flashes of brilliance, but some elements fell flat. however, i think that was my fault because i tried to read it while i was commuting and my attention was not what it should have been.
.
the story of Lazi, a lesbian in post-martial law Taiwan, is told through diary entries interspersed with elements of what i believe to be excerpts from the narrator’s novel about crocodiles which serves as an allegory for being a closeted person in Taiwan. Lazi goes through a failed romance that never leaves her, and influences all other relationships in her life. honestly? i almost preferred the parts about the crocodiles. this is a great book, but you need to be prepared to pay attention and maybe even take notes. i would say while it is a very important book, it was not my favorite book… (more)
 
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snazzyshelves | 11 other reviews | Aug 22, 2022 |

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Statistics

Works
6
Also by
5
Members
572
Popularity
#43,783
Rating
½ 3.6
Reviews
20
ISBNs
21
Languages
5
Favorited
3

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