'The proliferation of trauma fiction has given rise to a debate about the
ethical challenges of representing and responding to trauma. An abuse of this
theoretical framework may lead to an unethical appropriation of the trauma of others.
The main aim in this article is to study Gail Jones's use of poetic indirection in her
short story "Touching Tiananmen" (2000). This strategy raises awareness about the
historical trauma of the Tiananmen massacre, and takes how its victims may be
represented into consideration. Firstly, the ambivalent meaning and relevance of silence
in the short story will be explained. This discussion is supported by a detailed analysis
of the formal and stylistic strategies used in Jones's narrative to evoke the 1989
traumatic event. Secondly, the story's construction of temporal, place and positional
forms of circumspection will be examined. Finally, Homi Bhabha's notion of "now
knowledge" will be used to comment on the story's anti-climatic turning-points and
ending. By way of conclusion, it will be argued that Jones's choice to "speak shadows"
proves to be a powerful strategy to denounce forgetfulness and call for our recognition
of responsibility towards the victims.' (Author's abstract)