Su Tong

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Tong Zhonggui
Native name 童忠贵
Born January 1963 (age 55)
Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Pen name Su Tong (苏童)
Occupation Novelist
Language Chinese
Nationality Chinese
Alma mater Beijing Normal University
Period 1980 - present
Genre Novel
Notable works Yellowbird Story
Notable awards 9th Mao Dun Literature Prize
2015 Yellowbird Story

Su Tong (simplified Chinese: 苏童; traditional Chinese: 蘇童; pinyin: Sū Tóng; born January 23, 1963) is the pen name of Chinese writer Tong Zhonggui (童忠贵; Tóng Zhōngguì). He was born in Suzhou and lives in Nanjing.[1]

He entered the Department of Chinese at Beijing Normal University in 1980, and started to publish novels in 1983. He is now vice president of the Jiangsu Writers Association.[2] Known for his controversial writing style, Su is one of the most acclaimed novelists in China.[3]


Su has written seven full-length novels and over 200 short stories, some of which have been translated into English, German, Italian and French.[4]

He is best known in the West for his book Wives and Concubines, published in 1990. The book was adapted into the film, Raise the Red Lantern by director Zhang Yimou. The book has since been published under the name given to the film. His other works available in English translation are Rice, My Life as Emperor, Binu and the Great Wall (tr. Howard Goldblatt), Madwoman on the Bridge and Other Stories, Tattoo: Three Novellas and The Boat to Redemption, also translated by Goldblatt.

His novel Hongfen, about two Shanghai prostitutes at the time of Liberation in 1949, has been adapted to two films: Li Shaohong's Blush (Hongfen, 1994) and Huang Shuqin's Rouged Beauties (Hongfen Jiaren, 1995).[5]

In 2009, he was awarded the Man Asian Literary Prize for his work The Boat to Redemption, the second Chinese writer to win the prize.[6]

In 2011, Su Tong was nominated to win the Man Booker International Prize.[7] In 2015, he was a co-winner of the Mao Dun Literature Prize for Yellowbird Story.[8]

He has been influenced by writers such as William Faulkner, J.D Salinger, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Selected works in translation[edit]


  1. ^ Hua Li, Contemporary Chinese Fiction by Su Tong and Yu Hua: Coming of Age in Troubled Times (BRILL, 2011) p90
  2. ^
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  5. ^ Davis, Edward L. (1 January 2009). Encyclopedia of Contemporary Chinese Culture. Taylor & Francis. p. 790. ISBN 978-0-415-77716-2. 
  6. ^ Lam, Tiffany (18 November 2009). "Road to Redemption: Su Tong's literary smash", CNNGo.
  7. ^ "Three Asian authors make the Man Booker International Prize shortlist". Asia Pacific Arts. 04/05/2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Winners of 2015 Mao Dun Literature Prize announced". GBTimes. August 17, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.