March 6, 1954|
Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
|Literary movement||Xungen movement|
|Notable works||The Song of Everlasting Sorrow (1995)|
|Spouse||Li Zhang (李章)|
Wang Anyi (born 6 March 1954) is a Chinese writer. The daughter of renowned writer Ru Zhijuan, Wang is considered a leading figure in contemporary Chinese literature. She has been vice-chair of China Writers Association since 2006, and professor in Chinese Literature at Fudan University since 2004.
Wang's stories are frequently set in her hometown Shanghai, and David Der-wei Wang has called her the "new successor to the Shanghai School". Wang also regularly writes about the countryside in Anhui, where she was "sent down" during the Cultural Revolution.
The second of three children of writers Wang Xiaoping (王啸平) and Ru Zhijuan, Wang Anyi was born in Nanjing in 1954, but moved to Shanghai at age 1 with her parents. Wang was raised in a well-protected family off wealthy Huaihai Road and developed a habit of reading herself to sleep at a young age. She has an elder brother Wang Annuo (王安诺) and a younger brother Wang Anwei (王安桅).
In 1969, after graduating from middle school, Wang was "sent down" to the countryside of Wuhe County, Anhui—then an impoverished province plagued by famine. The rustication experience traumatized her. In the late 1980s, Wang said: "When I left, I left with the feelings of escaping from hell."
During the lonely years in the countryside, "reading books and writing in my diary became even more precious to me". Wang had hoped to enter a university as a Worker-Peasant-Soldier student but without a recommendation her dream was not realized. However, as she could play the accordion, in 1972 she found a position in the Xuzhou Song and Dance Cultural Troupe to play the cello. During her spare time she continued to write, and began to publish short stories in 1976. She was permitted to return to Shanghai in 1978 and worked as an editor of the literature magazine Childhood (儿童时代).
In 1980 Wang became a professional writer, and that year received training from the China Writers Association at the Lu Xun Literary Institute. Her earlier works focused on individual experiences rather than the collective, politics-oriented literature advocated by the state. In 1982 and 1983, her short story "The Destination" and novella Lapse of Time won national awards. In Lapse of Time, Wang shifted from emotional intensity in her previous work to the mundane day-to-day lives. But it was a 1983 trip to Iowa City, Iowa, United States for the International Writing Program, with her mother Ru Zhijuan, that redefined her career. There she met writer Chen Yingzhen, a social activist and Chinese nationalist from Taiwan, whose humanistic worldview and encouragement strongly influenced her. This experience "led to the profound discovery that she was indeed Chinese and to the decision to 'write on China' when she returned". In her first major work after the trip, the award-winning novella Baotown (1985), Wang focused on the culture of rural China, drawing from her own experience. The benevolent child protagonist is contrasted with selfish, prejudicial, cruel and close-minded adult villagers, and Ying Hong remarked that Wang used "words that carry not the least hint of subjectivity she casually tosses forth a whole string of 'slices of life'."
Since Baotown, Wang began exploring social taboo subjects. Her three novellas on forbidden carnal love, namely Love on a Barren Mountain (1986), Love in a Small Town (1986), and Brocade Valley (1987), provoked much controversy despite virtually no depictions of sex. Her 1989 novella Brothers made forays into the fragile same-sex, non-sexual female bond. However, in a 1988 interview Wang stated her "purpose and theme" have been consistently about man and love.
Wang's most famous novel, The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, traces the life story of a young Shanghainese girl from the 1940s all the way till her death after the Cultural Revolution. Although the book was published in 1995, it is already considered by many[who?] as a modern classic. Wang is often compared with another female writer from Shanghai, Eileen Chang, as both of their stories are often set in Shanghai, and give vivid and detailed descriptions of the city itself.
A novella and six of her stories have been translated and collected in an anthology, Lapse of Time. In his preface to that collection, Jeffrey Kinkley notes that Wang is a realist whose stories "are about everyday urban life" and that the author "does not stint in describing the brutalising density, the rude jostling, the interminable and often futile waiting in line that accompany life in the Chinese big city".
Wang has tried other forms of writing. In 1996 Wang co-wrote the period film Temptress Moon with director Chen Kaige and Shu Kei. In 2007, she translated Elizabeth Swados' My Depression: A Picture Book from English.
Works translated to English
|Year||Chinese title||Translated English title||Translator(s)|
|1979||雨，沙沙沙||"And the Rain Patters On"||Michael Day|
|1980||小院琐记||"Life in a Small Courtyard"||Hu Zhihui|
|1981||墙基||"The Base of the Wall"||Daniel Bryant|
|本次列车终点||"The Destination"||Yu Fanqin|
|1982||流逝||Lapse of Time||Howard Goldblatt|
|舞台小世界||"The Stage, a Miniature World"||Song Shouquan|
|1984||人人之间||"Between Themselves"||Gladys Yang|
|话说老秉||"Speaking of Old Bing"||Chad Phelan|
|1985||我为什么写作||"Why I Write"||Michael Berry|
|老康回来||"Lao Kang Came Back"||Jeanne Tai|
|"Lao Kang Is Back"||Denis C. Mair|
|阿跷传略||"The Story of Ah Qiao"||Yawtsong Lee|
|1986||阿芳的灯||"Ah Fang's Light"|
|鸠雀一战||"The Nest Fight"|
|"Birds Fighting for a Nest"||Nigel Bedford|
|名旦之口||"The Mouth of the Famous Female Impersonator"||Zhu Zhiyu, Janice Wickeri|
|荒山之恋||Love on a Barren Mountain||Eva Hung|
|小城之恋||Love in a Small Town|
|1987||锦绣谷之恋||Brocade Valley||Bonnie S. McDougall, Chen Maiping|
|面对自己||"Needed: A Spirit of Courageous Self-Examination"||Ellen Lai-shan Yeung|
|1988||女作家的自我||"A Woman Writer's Sense of Self"||Wang Lingzhen, Mary Ann O'Donnell|
|1989||弟兄们||"Brothers"||Diana B. Kingsbury|
|1991||妙妙||"Miaomiao"||Don J. Cohn|
|乌托邦诗篇||"Utopian Verses"||Wang Lingzhen, Mary Ann O'Donnell|
|1995||长恨歌||The Song of Everlasting Sorrow||Michael Berry, Susan Chan Egan|
|1996||姊妹们||"Sisters"||Ihor Pidhainy, Xiao-miao Lan|
|我爱比尔||“I Love Bill" (excerpt)||Todd Foley|
|1998||忧伤的年代||"Years of Sadness"||Wang Lingzhen, Mary Ann O'Donnell|
|丧钟为谁而鸣||"For Whom the Bell Tolls"||Gao Jin|
|天仙配||“Match Made in Heaven"||Todd Foley|
|遗民||"Inhabitants of a Vintage Era"||Yawtsong Lee|
|大学生||"The Grand Student"|
|小饭店||"The Little Restaurant"|
|1999||喜宴||"Wedding Banquet"||Yuvonne Yee|
|"A Nuptial Banquet"||Yawtsong Lee|
|花园的小红||"Xiao Hong of the Village of Huayuan"|
|"Little Rouge of the Garden Village"||Wang Mingjie|
|街灯底下||"Under the Street Lights"||Shin Yong Robson|
|艺人之死||"The Death of an Artist"||Hu Ying|
|2001||民工刘建华||"Liu Jianhua the Migrant Worker"||Sylvia Yu, Benjamin Chang, Chris Malone|
|2002||投我以木桃，报之以琼瑶||"A Peach Was Presented Me, I Returned a Fine Jade"||Gao Jin|
|云低处||"In the Belly of the Fog"||Canaan Morse|
|闺中||"Maiden Days in the Boudoir"||Wang Zhiguang|
|2003||发廊情话||"Confidences in a Hair Salon"||Shi Xiaojing|
|"Love Talk at Hairdresser's"||Hui L. Glennie, John R. Glennie|
|2008||黑弄堂||"The Dark Alley"||Canaan Morse|
|骄傲的皮匠||"The Sanctimonious Cobbler"||Andrea Lingenfelter|
- 1982: 4th National Short Story Prize, "The Destination"
- 1983: 2nd National Novella Prize, Lapse of Time
- 1987: 4th National Novella Prize, Baotown
- 2000: 5th Mao Dun Literature Prize, The Song of Everlasting Sorrow
- 2004: 3rd Lu Xun Literary Prize, "Confidences in a Hair Salon"
- 2012: 4th Dream of the Red Chamber Award, Scent of Heaven (天香)
- 2013: France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres
- 2017: 5th Newman Prize for Chinese Literature
- 2018: 2nd JD Literature Prize, "红豆生南国"
Wang was also a finalist for the 4th Man Booker International Prize in 2011.
- Lapse of Time. China Books. 1988. ISBN 0-8351-2032-5.
- Chinese Writers on Writing. Trinity University Press. 2010. ISBN 978-1-59534-063-4.
- 王安忆的文学之路 Retrieved 2017-01-14
- Leung, Laifong (1994). "Wang Anyi: Restless Explorer". Morning Sun: Interviews with Chinese Writers of the Lost Generation. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 177–87. ISBN 1-56324-093-9.
- Wang, Lingzhen (2003). "Wang Anyi". In Mostow, Joshua S. The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature. Columbia University Press. pp. 592–7. ISBN 0-231-11314-5.
- Years of Sadness. Cornell University. 2009. ISBN 978-1-933947-47-1.
- Ying Hong (1991). "Wang Anyi and Her Fiction". In Ying Bian. The Time Is Not Yet Ripe: Contemporary China's Best Writers and Their Stories. Translated by Katharina A. Byrne. Foreign Languages Press. pp. 217–24. ISBN 7-119-00742-4.
- 王安忆教授的复旦十年 Retrieved 2017-01-14
- 王安忆：文学能使人生变得有趣 Retrieved 2017-01-14
- 王安忆作品开展 Retrieved 2017-01-14
- The Rose Colored Dinner: New Works by Contemporary Chinese Women Writers. Joint Publishing. 1988. ISBN 962-04-0615-X.
- Chinese Literature, Autumn 1989.
- Baotown. Viking Press. 1989. ISBN 0-670-82622-7.
- Wang, Anyi. "Mother". Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. 12 (1): 5-19. doi:10.3868/so10-007-018-0002-5.
- Spring Bamboo: A Collection of Contemporary Chinese Short Stories. Random House. 1989. ISBN 0-394-56582-7.
- The Time Is Not Yet Ripe: Contemporary China's Best Writers and Their Stories. Foreign Languages Press. 1991. ISBN 7-119-00742-4.
- The Little Restaurant. Better Link Press. 2010. ISBN 978-1-60220-225-2.
- Renditions (39), Spring 1993.
- Renditions (27 & 28), 1987.
- Love on a Barren Mountain. The Chinese University of Hong Kong. 1991. ISBN 962-7255-09-2.
- Love in a Small Town. The Chinese University of Hong Kong. 1988. ISBN 962-7255-03-3.
- Brocade Valley. New Directions Publishing. 1992. ISBN 0-8112-1224-6.
- Modern Chinese Writers: Self-Portrayals. M. E. Sharpe. 1992. ISBN 0-87332-817-5.
- I Wish I Were a Wolf: The New Voice in Chinese Women's Literature. New World Press. 1994. ISBN 7-80005-124-2.
- Red Is Not the Only Color: Contemporary Chinese Fiction on Love and Sex Between Women, Collected Stories. Rowman & Littlefield. 2001. ISBN 0-7425-1137-5.
- Six Contemporary Chinese Women Writers (IV). Chinese Literature Press. 1995. ISBN 7-5071-0297-1.
- Dragonflies: Fiction by Chinese Women in the Twentieth Century. Cornell University. 2003. ISBN 1-885445-15-6.
- Wang, Anyi. "I Love Bill". Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. 12 (1): 43-65. doi:10.3868/so10-007-018-0004-9.
- One China, Many Paths. Verso Books. 2003. ISBN 1-85984-537-1.
- Wang, Anyi. "Match Made in Heaven". Frontiers of Literary Studies in China. 12 (1): 20-42. doi:10.3868/so10-007-018-0003-2.
- Street Wizards and Other New Folklore. Foreign Languages Press. 2009. ISBN 978-7-119-05749-1.
- Chinese Literature, September–October 2000.
- Renditions (69), Spring 2008.
- The Mystified Boat: Postmodern Stories from China. University of Hawaiʻi Press. 2003. ISBN 0-8248-2799-6.
- Words Without Borders, April 2008.
- Under the Eaves: Selected Short Stories by Contemporary Writers from Shanghai(I). Better Link Press. 2008. ISBN 978-1-60220-207-8.
- Keep Running, Little Brother. Foreign Languages Press. 2014. ISBN 978-7-119-09311-6.
- How Far Is Forever and More Stories by Women Writers. Foreign Languages Press. 2008. ISBN 978-7-119-05436-0.
- The Great Masque and More Stories of Life in the City. Foreign Languages Press. 2008. ISBN 978-7-119-05437-7.
- Renditions (86), Autumn 2016.
- A Voice from the Beyond. Foreign Languages Press. 2014. ISBN 978-7-119-09309-3.
- By the River: Seven Contemporary Chinese Novellas. University of Oklahoma Press. 2016. ISBN 978-0-8061-5404-6.
- 王安忆获"法国文学艺术骑士勋章" 忆法国情结, 2013-09-29, Retrieved 2017-01-14
- "Book on Urban Immigration Wins at 2nd JD Literature Prize". CGTN.com. Retrieved 5 June 2018.