20 April 1938
Chengdu, Sichuan, Republic of China
|Occupation||novelist, screenwriter, lyricist and producer|
|Nationality||Republic of China|
|Children||1 son, 3 stepchildren|
Chiung Yao or Qiong Yao (Chinese: 瓊瑤; born 20 April 1938) is the pen name of Chen Che, a Taiwanese writer and producer who is often regarded as the most popular romance novelist in the Chinese-speaking world. Her novels have been adapted into more than 100 films and TV dramas.
Chen Che and her twin brother were born in 1938 during the Second Sino-Japanese War in Chengdu, Sichuan, to parents who had fled Beijing which had fallen to Japanese troops in 1937. Both her father Chen Zhiping (陳致平) and mother Yuan Xingshu (袁行恕) were highly educated (Yuan's cousins include Yuan Xiaoyuan, Yuan Jing and Yuan Xingpei). In 1942, the family moved to Chen Zhiping's hometown of Hengyang, Hunan to join Chen Che's grandfather Chen Moxi (陳墨西). In 1944, following the fall of Hengyang, they survived an arduous journey to the wartime capital of Chongqing, during which they narrowly escaping death and rape several times.
In 1949, her family moved to Taiwan, where Chen attended the Affiliated Experimental Elementary School of University of Taipei (台北师范附小) and Taipei Municipal Zhongshan Girls High School. After failing the university entrance examination three times, she married writer Ma Senqing and became a housewife.
When she was 18, Chiung Yao fell in love with her high school Chinese teacher. This experience became the basis of her debut novel Outside the Window, which became one of her most popular works and launched her career as a writer.
Chiung Yao's novels were first serialized in the Crown Magazine owned by Ping Hsin-tao and then published as monographs by Crown Publishing, also owned by Ping, who later became her second husband. The couple adapted many of her novels into television series and films, often serving as producers or screenwriters themselves. 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".
Her romance novels were very well received in Taiwan, and by the 1990s she was also one of the best-selling authors on mainland China. She has since been enormously popular throughout the Chinese-speaking world. Her biggest sellers are Outside the Window and Deep Is the Courtyard (1969), which have been repeatedly reprinted.
Her novels have been praised for the prose, the poetry which was part of her earlier works, and the literary allusions of their titles. They are often described as "morbid", as many of them feature socially questionable romantic relationships (e.g. between teacher and student, brother-in-law and sister-in-law). Her romance novels and their film adaptions have been criticized for their melodramatic plotlines and long-winded dialogues. Chiung Yao's readership and viewership are predominantly female, owing to her emphasis on the feelings of young women.
In 1959, Chiung Yao married Ma Senqing (马森庆), also a writer. After she became famous and began to outshine her husband, their marriage broke down and ended in divorce in 1964.
In 1979, Chiung Yao married her publisher Ping Hsin-tao, who had had three children with his first wife Lin Wan-zhen. In 2018, Lin published a memoir in which she accused Chiung Yao of breaking up her marriage.
After Ping suffered a stroke and lost nearly all ability to communicate, Chiung Yao had a falling out with her step-children over whether to continue his intubation. Ping died on 23 May 2019, at the age of 92.
On 15 April 2014, Chiung Yao accused screenwriter and producer Yu Zheng of blatant plagiarism, seeking immediate suspension of the broadcast of his TV series Palace 3: The Lost Daughter, which she alleged to have plagiarized from her 1992 novel Plum Blossom Scar (梅花烙). Yu denied the claim. On April 28, Chiung Yao filed a plagiarism lawsuit against Yu. On December 12, 109 Chinese screenwriters published a joint statement supporting Chiung Yao. A day later, an additional 30 Chinese screenwriters made their support of Chiung Yao known.
On 25 December, the court ruled in Chiung Yao's favor, ordering four 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) in compensation. China Radio International called it a "landmark ruling".
List of works
|Year||Chinese Title||English Title||Notes|
|1962||情人谷||Lover's Dale||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.|
||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.|
|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|
|心有千千結||The Heart has a Million Knots|
|1973||一簾幽夢||Dream Curtain||Also known as Dream Link|
|1975||在水一方||One Side of the Water||Also known as The Unforgettable Character|
|雁兒在林梢||The Wild Goose on the Wing|
|1979||夢的衣裳||Clothing of Dreams||Released as My Cape of Many Dreams|
|1984||不曾失落的日子·童年||Escape from Heng Yang||Translated into English by Eugene Lo Wei|
|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|
|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|
- Ying, Li-hua (2010). Historical Dictionary of Modern Chinese Literature. The Scarecrow Press. p. 157. ISBN 978-0-8108-5516-8.
- "琼瑶作品及影视对应表". Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
- Jiang Bo 江波 (2013-08-07). "她让我们相信爱情 她自己的爱情也丰富多彩". Qianjiang Evening News. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
- Mostow, Joshua S. (2003). The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature. Columbia University Press. p. 517. ISBN 978-0-231-11314-4.
- Kristof, Nicholas D. (February 19, 1991). "A Taiwan Pop Singer Sways the Mainland". The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Xiao, Zhiwei; Zhang, Yingjin (2002). Encyclopaedia of Chinese Film. Routledge. ISBN 9781134745531.
- Yeh, Emilie Yueh-yu; Davis, Darrell William (2013). Taiwan Film Directors: A Treasure Island. Columbia University Press. ISBN 9780231502993.
- Feng, Jin (2013). Romancing the Internet: Producing and Consuming Chinese Web Romance. Brill. ISBN 9789004259720.
- Lee, Daw-ming (2013). Historical Dictionary of Taiwan Cinema. The Scarecrow Press. pp. 125–8. ISBN 978-0-8108-6792-5.
- "当你不再浪漫不再笑". Guangming Daily. 2017-04-18. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
- "Publishing magnate's ex on queen of romance novels: 'The biggest problem in my marriage was Chiung Yao'". The Straits Times. 24 April 2018. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- Hsia, Heidi (4 August 2017). "Ping Xin-tao's son gives response to Chiung Yao". Yahoo! News Singapore. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
- Chen Cheng-wei; Chung Yu-chen (2019-06-04). "Crown Magazine founding publisher dies aged 92". Central News Agency. Retrieved 2019-06-07.
- Chiung Yao Sues Yu Zheng for Plagiarism
- 琼瑶诉于正抄袭 109名编剧联名支持
- 继续声援! 又有30余位编剧支持琼瑶诉于正
- "Court Supports Chiung Yao's Plagiarism Charges". 2014-12-25.
- 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.
- Chiung Yao (January 1966). Translated by Tommy Lee. "Lover's Dale". Free China Review. 16 (1).
- 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.