Wang Meng (author)

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Wang Meng
Wang Meng.jpg
Wang Meng
Frankfurt Book Fair 2009
Minister of Culture of the People's Republic of China
In office
Preceded byZhu Muzhi
Succeeded byHe Jingzhi
Personal details
Born (1934-10-15) October 15, 1934 (age 88)
Beijing, China
Political partyCommunist Party of China
Alma materBeijing Normal University

Wang Meng (Chinese: 王蒙; pinyin: Wáng Méng; born 15 October 1934) is a Chinese writer who served as China's Minister of Culture from 1986 to 1989.


Wang was born in Beijing in 1934. During his middle school years, he was introduced to communist ideology and in 1949 officially joined the Communist Youth League.

Wang Meng has published over 60 books since 1955, including six novels, ten short-story collections, as well as other works of poetry, prose and critical essays. His works have been translated and published in 21 different languages.

In 1956 Wang published a controversial piece, "The Young Newcomer in the Organizational Department" (组织部来了个年轻人). This caused a great uproar[1] and subsequently led to his being labelled a "rightist". In 1963, he was sent to Xinjiang to be "reformed" through labor. It was largely during this period of hardship that he accrued much of the experience that would later become the material for his short stories and novels. Not until 1979 was this injury redressed. In 1980 he was invited to be in residency at the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa.

He served as China's Minister of Culture from July 1986 to September 1989.[2]

In an article in The New Yorker,[3] critic Jianying Zha asked, 'Is China's most eminent writer a reformer or an apologist?' in response to the criticism of Wang Meng's public lecture at the Frankfurt International Book Fair on October 18, 2009.

On 27 June 2015 at the United International College's 7th Graduation Ceremony in Zhuhai, Wang Meng was rewarded with the Honorary Fellowships.[4] In 2015 he was awarded the Mao Dun Literature Prize for 'Scenery on this Side.[5]

Selected publications[edit]

Books available in English
  • 100 Glimpses into China: Short Short Stories from China (by Wang Meng, Feng Jicai, Wang Zengqi and others) (Xu Yihe and Daniel J. Meissner). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1989.
  • Alienation (Nance T. Lin and Tong Qi Lin). Hong Kong: Joint Publishing Co., 1993.
  • Bolshevik Salute: A Modernist Chinese Novel (Wendy Larson). Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1989.
  • Prize-winning Stories from China, 1978-1979 (by Liu Xinwu, Wang Meng, and others). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1981.
  • Snowball (Cathy Silber and Deirdre Huang). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1989.
  • The Butterfly and Other Stories (intro. by Rui An). Beijing: Chinese Literature,1983.
  • The Strain of Meeting (Denis C. Mair). Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1989.
  • The Stubborn Porridge and Other Stories (Zhu Hong). New York: George Braziller, 1994.
  • Wonderful Xinjiang: A photographic journey of China's largest province as told through the pen of Wang Meng. Pleasantville: Reader's Digest, 2004.


  1. ^ Liu, Binyan (1990). A Higher Kind of Loyalty: A Memoir by China's Foremost Journalist. New York: Pantheon. p. 68. ISBN 0-394-57471-0.
  2. ^ Dillon, Michael, ed. (1999). China: A Cultural and Historical Dictionary. London: Curzon Press. p. 333. ISBN 0-7007-0439-6.
  3. ^ Zha Jianying (8 November 2010). "Letter from Beijing: Servant of the State". The New Yorker. Vol. 86, no. 35. pp. 60–69.
  4. ^ UIC holds 7th Graduation Ceremony and Honorary Fellowship Conferment
  5. ^ "Winners of 2015 Mao Dun Literature Prize announced". GBTimes. August 17, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
Government offices
Preceded by Minister of Culture of China
Succeeded by