Yang Jiang

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For the city in Guangdong Province, see Yangjiang.
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Yang.
Jiang Yang
Yang Jiang 1941.jpg
Born (1911-07-17) 17 July 1911 (age 104)
Flag of the Qing dynasty (1889-1912).svg Beijing, Qing Dynasty
Alma mater Soochow University
Tsinghua University
University of Oxford
University of Paris
Spouse(s) Qian Zhongshu
Children Qian Yuan (1937-1997)
Parent(s) Yang Yinhang (father, 1878-1945)
Relatives Yang Yinyu (aunt, 1884-1938)

Yang Jiang (simplified Chinese: 杨绛; traditional Chinese: 楊絳; pinyin: Yáng Jiàng), born Yang Jikang (simplified Chinese: 杨季康; traditional Chinese: 楊季康; pinyin: Yáng Jìkāng) (born 17 July 1911), is a Chinese playwright, author, and translator. She has written several successful comedies, and was the first Chinese person to produce a complete Chinese version of Don Quixote from the Spanish original.[1]


After graduating from Soochow University in 1932, Yang Jiang enrolled in the graduate school of Tsinghua University where she met her husband Qian Zhongshu. During 1935–1938, they went to Oxford and University of London for further study. At that time, they had their daughter Qian Yuan (錢瑗). They returned to China in 1938. Both Yang and Qian went to academics and made important contributions to the development of Chinese culture.[2]


  • Widow of the scholar-novelist Qian Zhongshu, she has written a memoir called We Three (我們仨), recalling her husband and her daughter Qian Yuan (錢瑗) (1937–1997), who died of cancer one year before her father's death.
  • Another memoir penned by her is Six Chapters from My Life 'Downunder' (幹校六記), a lyrical and humorous record of the difficult times faced by Yang and her husband when they were sent to work on farms in the late '60s and early '70s during the Cultural Revolution.[3] In connection with this memoir, she also wrote Soon to Have Tea (將飲茶), which was published in 1983.
  • In 1988, she published her only novel Baptism (洗澡), which was always connected with Fortress Besieged (圍城), a masterpiece of her husband.[4]
  • At the age of 96, she surprised the world with her latest work Reaching the Brink of Life (走到人生邊上), a philosophic work whose title in Chinese clearly alludes to her late husband's collection of essays Marginalia to Life (寫在人生邊上).

Yang has also rendered the picaresque novels Lazarillo de Tormes and Alain-René Lesage's Gil Blas into Chinese. She turned 100 in July 2011.[5]


  1. ^ http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/en/doc/2003-11/17/content_281981.htm
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Shapiro, Judith (25 November 1984). "The Re-Education Of A 'Stinking Intellectual'". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ http://www.chinawriter.com.cn/wxpl/2011/2011-07-28/100649.html
  5. ^ Yang, Guang (21 July 2011). "At the margins of life". China Daily. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Yang Jiang, tran. Judith M. Amory and Yaohua Shi (2007). Baptism. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 9789622098312. 
  • Yang Jiang, tran. Howard Goldblatt (1988). Six Chapters from My Life "Downunder". University of Washington Press. ISBN 9780295966441. 

External links[edit]