Geling Yan

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This is a Chinese name; the family name is Yan.
Geling Yan
Yan Geling Buchmesse 2014 (02).jpg
Yan Geling at Frankfurt bookfair 2014
Born (1958-11-16) November 16, 1958 (age 56)
Shanghai, China
Occupation novelist, screenwriter
Notable works A Woman's Epic

Geling Yan (simplified Chinese: 严歌苓; traditional Chinese: 嚴歌苓; pinyin: Yán Gēlíng; born 1958[1]) is a famous Chinese writer, author of several novels, short stories and screenplays. Much of her work has been adapted for film. She is currently represented by the Hong Kong based Peony Literary Agency.[2]


Early life[edit]

Yan was born in Shanghai, China. She performed as a dancer at age 12. She served in the People's Liberation Army during the Cultural Revolution, in Tibet and later as a journalist in the Sino-Vietnamese War, achieving a rank equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel.


Her first novel was published in 1985. She is the author of such novels as The Banquet Bug (published as The Uninvited in the UK) and The Lost Daughter of Happiness, as well as a story collection entitled White Snake and Other Stories. Several of Yan's works have been adapted for film, including Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl, which was directed by Joan Chen, and Siao Yu, directed by Sylvia Chang and screenplay co-written by Ang Lee. Zhang Yimou, the Chinese director of To Live and Raise the Red Lantern adapted one of her novellas, 13 Flowers of Nanjing, to the screen as The Flowers of War. She has worked on other scripts including a biography of Mei Lanfang, the Peking opera star, for Chinese director Chen Kaige.


She is a member of the Hollywood Writer's Guild of America and the Writer's Association of China.

Education background[edit]

Yan holds a bachelor's degree in literature from Wuhan University, and a Master's in Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago.


  1. ^ Date information sourced from Library of Congress Authorities data, via corresponding WorldCat Identities linked authority file (LAF) .
  2. ^ "Peony Literary Agency". 

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