Chu T’ien-wen

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Chu T’ien-wen
2008TIBE Day4 Hall1 ActivityCenter1 Tien-wen Chu.jpg
Born (1956-08-24) August 24, 1956 (age 61)
Taipei, Taiwan
Language Chinese
Alma mater Tamkang University
Chinese name

Chu T’ien-wen (born 24 August 1956) is a Taiwanese fiction writer. Chu is perhaps best known for writing the screenplays for most Hou Hsiao-hsien films. She is the recipient of the 2015 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature.

Her father Chu Hsi-ning and younger sister Chu T’ien-hsin are also famous writers.


Chu T’ien-wen was born in Taipei, Taiwan.[1] She was born to probably the most prestigious literary family in contemporary Taiwan. She is the daughter of Chu Hsi-ning and the older sister of Chu T’ien-hsin. Some of her notable novels are Fin-de-Siècle Splendour (世紀末的華麗, 1990), Notes of a Desolate Man (荒人手記, 1994), and 巫言 (2008). She wrote many of the scripts for the famous Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien. Her screenwriting credits include movies like Taipei Story, The Puppetmaster, Goodbye South, Goodbye, Millennium Mambo, City of Sadness 悲情城市 (1989) and many more. Chu was named the winner of the 2015 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature for Fin-de-Siècle Splendour, making her the first female writer to win the award.[2]

Works translated to English[edit]

Year Chinese title Translated English title Translator(s)
1986 炎夏之都 "The Long Hot Summer"[3] Ellen Lai-shan Yeung
"A City of Hot Summer"[4] Michelle Yeh
1988 柴師父 "Master Chai"[5]
1989 肉身菩薩 "Boddhisattva Incarnate"[6] Fran Martin
1990 世紀末的華麗 "Fin de Siècle Splendour"[7] Eva Hung
1994 荒人手記 Notes of a Desolate Man[8] Howard Goldblatt, Sylvia Li-chun Lin
2006 巫言 "Witch's Brew"[9]
2015 我們有義務成為另一些人 "We All Change into Somebody Else"[10] Ping Zhu



Year English title Chinese title Director Notes
1983 Growing Up 小畢的故事 Chen Kunhou co-wrote with Hou Hsiao-hsien, Ding Yah-ming and Hsu Shu-chen
The Boys from Fengkuei 風櫃來的人 Hou Hsiao-hsien
1984 A Summer at Grandpa's 冬冬的假期
Out of the Blue 小爸爸的天空 Chen Kunhou co-wrote with Wu Nien-jen
1985 My Favorite Season 最想念的季節 co-wrote with Hou Hsiao-hsien, Ding Yah-ming and Hsu Shu-chen
The Matrimony 結婚 co-wrote with Ding Yah-ming and Hsu Shu-chen
Taipei Story 青梅竹馬 Edward Yang co-wrote with Hou Hsiao-hsien
The Time to Live and the Time to Die 童年往事 Hou Hsiao-hsien
1986 Dust in the Wind 戀戀風塵 co-wrote with Wu Nien-jen
Drifters 流浪少年路 Chen Kunhou co-wrote with Ding Yah-ming and Hsu Shu-chen
1987 Daughter of the Nile 尼羅河女兒 Hou Hsiao-hsien
1989 A City of Sadness 悲情城市 co-wrote with Wu Nien-jen
1993 The Puppetmaster 戲夢人生 co-wrote with Wu Nien-jen
1995 Good Men, Good Women 好男好女
1996 Goodbye South, Goodbye 南國再見,南國 co-wrote with Jack Kao and Lim Giong
1998 Flowers of Shanghai 海上花 based on The Sing-song Girls of Shanghai
2001 Millennium Mambo 千禧曼波
2003 Café Lumière 咖啡時光
2005 Three Times 最好的時光
2015 The Assassin 刺客聶隱娘 historical film, co-wrote with niece Hsieh Hai-meng and Ah Cheng

TV series (incomplete)[edit]

  • 1982 Guarding Sunlight, Guarding You (守著陽光守著你)?
  • 1989 Sweet Baby (甜蜜寶貝)

Film awards[edit]

Year # Award Category Film Result
1983 20th Golden Horse Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Growing Up Won
1984 21st A Summer at Grandpa's Nominated
1985 22nd Best Original Screenplay The Time to Live and the Time to Die Won
1989 26th A City of Sadness Nominated
1995 32nd Best Adapted Screenplay Good Men, Good Women Won
2005 42nd Best Original Screenplay Three Times Nominated
2015 52nd Best Adapted Screenplay The Assassin Nominated
2016 13th International Cinephile Society Awards Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated


  1. ^ Zhang Lei (9 August 2009). "Chu T'ien-wen's Witches' Language: On the wings of words". Global Times. Archived from the original on 7 July 2011. Retrieved 27 December 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Renditions, 1991.
  4. ^ The Chinese PEN, Summer 1988.
  5. ^ Running Wild: New Chinese Writers. Columbia University Press. 1994. 
  6. ^ Angelwings: Contemporary Queer Fiction from Taiwan. University of Hawaiʻi Press. 2003. ISBN 978-0-8248-2652-9. 
  7. ^ The Columbia Anthology of Modern Chinese Literature. Columbia University Press. 1995. ISBN 0-231-08002-6. 
  8. ^ Notes of a Desolate Man. Columbia University Press. 1999. ISBN 978-0-231-11608-4. 
  9. ^ Asymptote, January 2012.
  10. ^ Chinese Literature Today, 2016.

External links[edit]