Chiung Yao

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Chiung Yao
BornChen Che
(1938-04-20) 20 April 1938 (age 80)
Chengdu, Sichuan, Republic of China
Occupationnovelist, screenwriter, lyricist and producer
NationalityRepublic of China
Educationhigh school
Notable work
  • 1st husband
    (m. 1959; div. 1964)
  • Ping Hsin-tao (m. 1979)
ChildrenChen Chung-wei, son
Chiung Yao
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Chen Che
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

Chen Che (born 20 April 1938), best known by her pen name Chiung Yao (also romanized as Chung Yao and Qiong Yao), is a Taiwanese writer and producer and often regarded as the most popular romance novelist in the Chinese-speaking world.[1] Her novels have been adapted into more than 100 films and TV dramas.[2]

Early life[edit]

Chen Che and her twin brother were born during the Second Sino-Japanese War in Chengdu, Sichuan, to parents fleeing Beiping (modern Beijing) which fell to Japanese troops in 1937. Both her father Chen Chi-ping (陳致平) and mother Yuan Xingshu (袁行恕) were highly educated. (Yuan Xingshu's cousins include Yuan Xiaoyuan, Yuan Jing and Yuan Xingpei.) In 1942, the family moved to Chen Chi-ping's hometown of Hengyang, Hunan to join Chen Che's grandfather Chen Moxi (陳墨西). In 1944, following the fall of Hengyang, the Chens survived an arduous journey to the provisional Chinese capital of Chongqing, during which they narrowly escaping death and rape several times.

In 1949, along with her family, she moved to Taiwan, where she attended the Affiliated Experimental Elementary School of University of Taipei (台北师范附小) and Taipei Municipal Zhongshan Girls High School. At the age of 16, she published her first novel. During high school she had published over 200 articles. After graduation from high school and failure to enter college, she got married and became a housewife, and at the same time started her writing career. Her first novel, still often read today, is Chuangwai ("Outside the Window").[citation needed]

Chiung Yao's romance novels were very well received in Taiwan when they were first published, and by the 1990s she was also one of the best-selling authors on the mainland.[3] Film adaptations in the 1970s often featured Brigitte Lin, Joan Lin, Charlie Chin and/or Chin Han, who were then collectively known as the "Two Lins and Two Chins".

However her romance novels and film adaptions have also been criticized for their melodramatic plotlines[4][5] and extremely long-winded dialogues.[6]

In December 2014, Yao sued the producers of the television series The Palace: The Lost Daughter, claiming that the show was plagiarized from her 1993 book Meihualao (Plum Blossom Scar).[7]

Chiung Yao's readership and viewership are predominantly female, owing to her emphasis on the feelings of young women.[8]

List of works[edit]

Year Chinese Title English Title Notes
1962 情人谷 Lover's Dale[9] Translated into English by Tommy Lee
1963 窗外 Outside the Window
1964 煙雨濛濛 Misty Rain Translated into English by Mark Wilfer and released as Fire and Rain. Also known as Romance in the Rain.
1966 六個夢
  • 追寻
  • 哑妻
  • 三朵花
  • 生命的鞭
  • 归人记
  • 流亡曲
Six Dreams Six Dreams is an anthology of six short stories. Wan-Chun's Three Loves was initially released as a novellette in 1965, then later collected into Six Dreams.
1967 翦翦風
1968 彩雲飛 Flying Rosy Clouds Released as The Young Ones
1969 庭院深深 The Deep Garden and Courtyard Also released as Deep Garden
星河 Starry River
1971 水靈
白狐 White Fox
1972 海鷗飛處
心有千千結 The Heart has a Million Knots
1973 一簾幽夢 Dream Curtain Also known as Dream Link
1974 碧雲天
女朋友 Girlfriend
1975 在水一方 One Side of the Water Also known as The Unforgettable Character
1976 人在天涯
雁兒在林梢 The Wild Goose on the Wing
1977 一顆紅豆
1978 彩霞滿天
1979 夢的衣裳 Clothing of Dreams Released as My Cape of Many Dreams
1980 卻上心頭
1981 燃燒吧!火鳥 Burning Firebird
1982 匆匆,太匆匆
1983 失火的天堂
1985 冰兒
1984 不曾失落的日子·童年 Escape from Heng Yang[10] Translated into English by Eugene Lo Wei
1988 剪不斷的鄉愁-瓊瑤大陸行
1990 雪珂 Xue Ke (lit. Snow Jade)
望夫崖 Wang Fu Cliff (lit. The "Awaiting Husband" Cliff)
1992 青青河邊草 Green Green Grass By The River
梅花烙 Plum Blossom Branding
1993 水雲間 Between The Water and Cloud
鬼丈夫 Ghost Husband
1994 新月格格 Princess Xinyue (lit. Princess New-Moon)
煙鎖重樓 Smoke Amongst The Floor
1997 還珠格格 Princess Pearl Also known as My Fair Princess and Princess Returning Pearl
1998 蒼天有淚 Tears In Heaven
1999 還珠格格第二部 Princess Pearl Part 2
2003 還珠格格第三部之天上人間 Princess Pearl Part 3: Heaven and Earth

As lyricist[edit]

Chiung Yao has written Mandarin song lyrics for the following singers:

Lawsuit against Yu Zheng[edit]

On 15 April 2014, Chiung Yao released an open letter to China's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television accusing television screenwriter and producer Yu Zheng of blatant plagiarism "unprecedented and beyond my endurance," seeking the immediate suspension of the broadcast of his TV series Palace 3: The Lost Daughter, which she alleged plagiarized from her 1992 novel Plum Blossom Scar (梅花烙). Yu denied the claim, saying he was a fan of Chiung Yao with no intention of angering her. On April 28, a team led by Wang Jun from Beijing-based Yingke Law Firm filed a plagiarism lawsuit against Yu.[11]

On 5 December, Beijing Third Intermediate People's Court convened the case. Wang Hailin (汪海林), executive director of Chinese Television Series Screenwriter Association, testified as expert witness for Chiung Yao's camp.[12] On December 12, 109 Chinese screenwriters published a joint statement supporting Chiung Yao's lawsuit against Yu Zheng.[13] A day later, an additional 30 Chinese screenwriters made their support of Chiung Yao known.[14]

On 25 December, the court ruled in Chiung Yao's favor, ordering 4 companies to stop distributing and broadcasting The Palace: The Lost Daughter, also demanding Yu Zheng to publicly apologize, and pay Chiung Yao ¥5 million (around $800,000). China Radio International called it a "landmark ruling".[15]


  1. ^ Ying, Li-hua (2010). Historical Dictionary of Modern Chinese Literature. The Scarecrow Press. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-8108-5516-8.
  2. ^ "琼瑶作品及影视对应表".
  3. ^ Kristof, Nicholas D. (February 19, 1991). "A Taiwan Pop Singer Sways the Mainland". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  4. ^ Xiao, Zhiwei; Zhang, Yingjin (2002). Encyclopaedia of Chinese Film. Routledge. ISBN 9781134745531.
  5. ^ Yeh, Emilie Yueh-yu; Davis, Darrell William (2013). Taiwan Film Directors: A Treasure Island. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231502993.
  6. ^ Feng, Jin (2013). Romancing the Internet: Producing and Consuming Chinese Web Romance. Brill. ISBN 9789004259720.
  7. ^ Chou, Chou I-ling; Chen, Ted (25 December 2014). "Taiwanese novelist wins 5 million yuan in Beijing court case". Central News Agency. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
  8. ^ Lee, Daw-ming (2013). Historical Dictionary of Taiwan Cinema. The Scarecrow Press. pp. 125–8. ISBN 978-0-8108-6792-5.
  9. ^ Chiung Yao (January 1966). Translated by Tommy Lee. "Lover's Dale". Free China Review. 16 (1).
  10. ^ Chung Yao (2008). Escape from Heng Yang: The Memoir of a Six-Year-Old Refugee Girl. Translated by Eugene Lo Wei. Dorrance Publishing Company. ISBN 9780805977325.
  11. ^ Chiung Yao Sues Yu Zheng for Plagiarism
  12. ^ 琼瑶告于正案首现"专家辅助" 行业内先于法律管理
  13. ^ 琼瑶诉于正抄袭 109名编剧联名支持
  14. ^ 继续声援! 又有30余位编剧支持琼瑶诉于正
  15. ^ "Court Supports Chiung Yao's Plagiarism Charges". 2014-12-25.

External links[edit]