Wang Anyi


Wang Anyi
b. 1954, Shanghai
Writer
After establishing herself as a writer on childhood, Wang was drawn to the cultural and aesthetic expression which became known as the Root-seeking school (Xungenpai) and is exemplified in her novella Bao Town (Xiaobaozhuang, 1985), inspired by Garcia-Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. She then turned to depicting female sexuality, first in a trilogy of novellas entitled Love in a Small Town (Xiaocheng zhi lian), Love on a Barren Mountain (Huangshan zhi lian) and Love in a Brocade Valley (Jinxiugu zhi lian), and then in the homoerotic Brothers (Dixiongmen, 1989). By the early 1990s Wang had embarked on even longer projects focused on inventing first a past for her parents, and then one for the city of Shanghai. Her father’s involvement in the Communist revolution is the topic of ‘Grieving over the Pacific Ocean’ (Shangxin taipingyang, 1992); Fact and Fiction (Jishi yü xugou, 1993) is filled with a mock genealogy tracing the maternal ancestry of her mother, the noted writer Ru Zhijuan. The history of Shanghai is told through the life of a woman in Song of Enduring Regret (Changhen ge, 1995), which is a tribute to the style of writer Zhang Ailing, while the novella Meitou (2000) presents an assertive woman of Shanghai through familiar scenes of a vanishing cityscape and the unusually frequent use of the Shanghai dialect.
Wang, Anyi (1985). Baotown. Trans. Martha Avery. New York: Viking Penguin.
——(1988). Love in a Small Town. Trans. Eva Hung.
Hong Kong: Renditions.
——(1991). Love on a Banen Mountain. Trans. Eva Hung. Hong Kong: Renditions.
——(1992). Brocade Valley. Trans. Bonnie McDougall and Chen Maiping. New York: New Directions.
——(2001). Brothers. Trans. Zhang Jingyuan. In Patricia Sieber (ed.), Red is Not the Only Color: Contemporary Chinese Fiction on Love and Sex Between Women, Collected Stories. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 93–142.
——(2004). ‘Tales of Gender’. In Wang Chaohua (ed.), One China, Many Paths. London: Verso, 250–6.
EDWARD GUNN

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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