Zhang Xinxin


Zhang Xinxin
b. 1953, Beijing
Writer
Raised in Beijing, Zhang was sent to rural China to work during the Cultural Revolution, first as a peasant, then as a nurse. In 1978 she was admitted to the Central Academy of Theatre to study directing, but spent her spare time writing fiction. Her novellas of the early 1980s were innovative, modernist depictions of the subjectivity of young women who attempt to resolve the conflict of marriage and a career, as in On the Same Horizon (Zai tongyi dipingxian shang, 1981), or to reconcile the experience of youth in the Maoist era with that of adulthood in the reform period, as in The Dreams of Our Generation (Women zhege nianji de meng, 1982). She co-authored with Sang Ye an extensive series of interviews with Chinese from all walks of life, collectively entitled Chinese Lives or Chinese Profiles (Beijingren, 1985), establishing a popular form, derived from Studs Terkel, that inspired several similar projects by other writers over the next decade. Zhang also continued her modernist experiments, such as the fact-fiction treatment of a bicycle journey along the Grand Canal in On the Road (Zailushang, 1987). Repeatedly subject to official criticism, in 1988 Zhang Xinxin emigrated to the USA, where she subsequently became a web-based columnist.
Jiang, Hong (2001).
‘The Masculine-Feminine Woman: Transcending Gender Identity in Zhang Xinxin’s Fiction’. China Information 15.1:138–65.
Kinkley, Jeffrey C. (1987–8). ‘Modernism and Journalism in the Works of Chang Hsin-hsin’. Tamkang Review 18.1–4:97–123.
Wakeman, Carolyn and Yue, Daiyun (1989). ‘Fiction’s End: Zhang Xinxin’s New Approaches to Creativity’. In Michael S.Duke (ed), Modern Chinese Women Writers: Critical Appraisals. New York: M.E.Sharpe, 196–216.
Zhang Xinxin (1992). ‘A “Bengal Tigress” Interviews Herself’ and ‘The “June 4 Syndrome”: Spiritual and Ideological Schizophrenia’. In Helmut Martin (ed.), Modern Chinese Writers: Self-Portrayals. Armonk: M.E.Sharpe, 137–46 and 165–7.
EDWARD GUNN

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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