Gladys Yang

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Gladys Yang
Gladys Yang and Yang Xianyi in 1941
Gladys Yang and Yang Xianyi in 1941
Gladys Margaret Tayler

(1919-01-19)19 January 1919
Beijing, China
Died18 November 1999(1999-11-18) (aged 80)
Beijing, China
Other namesChinese: 戴乃迭; pinyin: Dài Nǎidié
Spouse(s)Yang Xianyi

Gladys Yang (Chinese: 戴乃迭; pinyin: Dài Nǎidié; 19 January 1919 – 18 November 1999) was a British translator of Chinese literature and the wife of another noted literary translator, Yang Xianyi. Her father was a missionary to China and, from childhood, she became intrigued by Chinese culture.

Born Gladys Margaret Tayler in Beijing, she returned to England as a child and became Oxford University's first graduate in Chinese language in 1940. She met Yang at Oxford. After their marriage, the Beijing-based couple became prominent translators of Chinese literature into English during the latter half of the twentieth century at the Foreign Languages Press.[1]

The couple were imprisoned during the Cultural Revolution. Later in life, they spoke out against the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.[1] Their biography has been officially banned in China as a result.[2] Gladys Yang died in Beijing in 1999, aged 80.


Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang were survived by two daughters; their only son committed suicide in London in 1979.[3] When the couple were identified as class enemies and kept in separate prisons from 1968 for four years, their children were sent to remote factory farms to work. Their son became mentally ill and never recovered.[4]


  1. ^ a b Davin, Delia (24 Nov 1999). "Gladys Yang". The Guardian.
  2. ^ Sheridan, Michael. "Taylor and Yang's Love Story Emerges Surprise Best-Seller". PressReader. Gulf News. Retrieved 22 November 2017.
  3. ^ Oxford graduate Gladys beguiles China(Subscription required.)
  4. ^ "Yang Xianyi". The Telegraph (UK). 10 Dec 2009.