If we can say that the period in the history of modern Chinese literature from the 1920's to the 1930's is a feminist narrative time that belonged to the Twins of Ding Ling and Xiao Hong, the period of the 1940's undoubtedly belonged to Su Qing and Zhang Ailing. A woman writer unrivalled by none but her contemporary Zhang Ailing, Su is unique for her novels. Her artistic excellence, though inadequate in the eye of many modern critics, lies in a new realism that is characteristic of her unique personality. Simple and unadorned, her novels are aesthetically stunning. They vividly present to us a big social world of her time in the small world of a woman's perspective.The fact that Su Qing's failure in marriage, like that of many modern Chinese women writers, was rewarded by her success in literature is significant of the feminism in the modern Chinese literary history. Her limitation as a woman writer need not be overlooked: out of her three novels, only two autographic ones contributed to her reputation as a novelist, My Ten Years of Marriage and My Ten Years of Marriage Continued. Her short stories are not really worth mentioning. But as the writer had made it clear, these two Ten Years are “not really autobiographies but autobiographic novels”. They are indeed novels in a unique style in that they succeeded in presenting the trivialities and banalities of a rich and healthy daily life in a simple and straightforward style in which romanticism evaporates and a revelation rings out: The most important quality of a novelist is not his or her profound thoughts and feelings but his or her true and mature life experience. It does not mean that thoughts and feelings are unimportant but that whoever acquires this experience is endowed with the feelings that come with poetic creation and the insights that are often blinded.
Su's novels reveal that romanticism in poetic creation is not synonymous with worldly love affaires. It is essentially an understanding of the inconsistency of human relationships and the meaningfulness of ordinary life. In this sense, Su is not far different from Xiao Hong.Su's works have a strong feminism that characterized such feminist narratives by Ding Ling, Xiao Hong and other women writers. It is a colorful feminism in that it consists not only of soft tones and sentimental melodies but of liveliness, sharpness and strength as well. Su's feminist perspectives grow out of her unique understanding of women's life, an understanding which is so profound that it “seriously voices women's miseries and grievances”, as is demonstrated in the story of Huai Qing's marriage. Huai Qing is obviously a personal image of the author herself, but it is her true self.As a matter of fact, Su's marriage stories express an unreconciled helplessness in the absence of love. Only a “home”—as is often desired in pop songs—a home of true love between husband and wife can include everything this “bad girl” Huai Qing could have expected. It is such a simple but difficult idea. A sadness and sympathetic distress emerges in the quiet and disinterested tones of the narrative. The big world of life expressed in Su's description of a woman's small world cannot be belittled.