Alai (author)

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Native name
Born1959 (age 59–60)
Barkam County, Ngawa, Sichuan
Alma materBarkan Normal College
Period1982 - present
GenreNovel, poem
Notable worksRed Poppies
Notable awards5th Mao Dun Literary Prize
2005 Red Poppies

Alai (Chinese: 阿来; pinyin: Ālái; Tibetan: ཨ་ལེ་, Wylie: a-le, ZYPY: Alê, Lhasa dialect: [ɑ́lè]; born 1959 in Sichuan province) is a Chinese poet and novelist of Rgyalrong Tibetan descent. He was also editor of Science Fiction World.[1]


Alai's notable novel Red Poppies (The Dust Settles - Chen'ai Luoding), published in 1998, follows a family of Tibetan chieftains, the Maichi, during the decade or so before the liberation of Tibet by the People's Liberation Army in 1951. Their feudal life in the Tibetan borderlands, narrated by the youngest "idiot" son, is described as cruel, romantic, and full of intrigue (with the incorporation of Tibet into the People's Republic of China presented as a great advance for the Tibetan peasantry). Red Poppies was selected as a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize in 2002 and won the 5th Mao Dun Literary Prize in 2005.[1]

In 2013, he participated in the International Writing Program's Fall Residency at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA.[2]


  • The Song of King Gesar. Translators Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin. New South Wales: Allen & Unwin. December 2013. ISBN 9781847672353.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Tibetan Soul: Stories. Translators Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. February 2012. ISBN 978-1-937385-08-8.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Red Poppies: A Novel of Tibet. Translators Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. May 2003. ISBN 9780618340699.CS1 maint: others (link)


  1. ^ a b Shi, Shi (2015-11-02). "阿来,一位以藏语构思、汉语写作的作家" [Alai, a Chinese novelist with Tibetan ideas] (in Chinese). The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  2. ^ "2013 Resident Participants | The International Writing Program". Retrieved 2017-04-10.

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