Li Ang (writer)

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Li Ang (李昂; real name Shih Shu-tuan with Li Ang being her pen name) (born April 7, 1952, in Lukang, Taiwan) is a Taiwanese feminist writer. After graduating from Chinese Culture University with a degree in philosophy, she studied drama at the University of Oregon, after which she returned to teach at her alma mater. Her major work is The Butcher's Wife (殺夫: 1983, tr. 1986), though she has a copious output. Feminist themes and sexuality are present in much of her work. Many of her stories are set in Lukang.[1][2]


The Butcher's Wife is critical of traditional Chinese patriarchy. The heroine is sold by her dead father's brother into marriage with a brutal butcher much older than she. He dominates her sexually and takes pleasure in frightening her in various ways, including a visit to the slaughterhouse, after which the heroine in a disoriented state of mind murders him with a butcher's blade.[3]

Li Ang is known for her idiosyncratic, candid and penetrating insights on gender politics in the social life in contemporary Taiwan.[1] Beginning her writing career at the age of 16, she has published nearly twenty novels and collections of short stories centering on women in such topics as pubescent female psychosexuality, feminism and gender, sex and female subjectivity. Her bold and successive broaching of subjects bordering on the taboo within the cultural context of Taiwan has earned her extensive critical acclaim both in the world of Chinese letters and internationally. Translated into different languages and published world-wide, many of her works have been reviewed by leading newspapers in many countries, including The New York Times, and made into films and T.V. series. In 2004, Li Ang was awarded the “Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Minister of Culture and Communication in recognition of her outstanding contribution to world literature.[2]



  1. ^ a b Haddon, Rosemary, From Pulp to Politics: Aspects of Topicality in Fiction by Li La Ang Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 13, no. 1, pp.36-72
  2. ^ a b Li Ang, Guest Writers, 11th International Conference on the Short Story in English, York University
  3. ^ Goldblatt, Howard and Young, Ellen, (translation), The Butcher's Wife

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • List of translations of her fiction (scroll down).
  • Website devoted to Li Ang maintained at MIT.