Zhang Tianyi

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Zhang Tianyi
Native name
Born(1906-09-26)26 September 1906
Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
Died28 April 1985(1985-04-28) (aged 78)
Beijing, China
EducationBeijing University  – 1920s
Notable worksThe Secret of the Magic Gourd
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese張天翼
Simplified Chinese张天翼

Zhang Tianyi, real name: Zhang Yuanding; 26 September 1906 – 28 April 1985) was a 20th-century Chinese left-wing writer and children's author, whose novels and short stories achieved acclaim in the 1930s for his satiric wit.[1]


Zhang was born in Nanjing in 1906. Before the Second Sino-Japanese War, he worked as a teacher, journalist and minor official. His prolific literary career started out in the 1920s.[2] By the early 1930s Zhang had joined both the League of Left-Wing Writers and Mao's Chinese Communist Party.[3] During the war and after the establishment of the People's Republic of China, he continued to write and held various official posts, including the editorship of the literary journal Renmin Wenxue (People's Literature).

His novels include Big Lin and Little Lin, The Kingdom of Golden Ducks, and The Secret of the Magic Gourd.


The hostility of the Chinese Kuomintang regime meant that much of Zhang's writing had to be serialized in underground journals.[4]

These are the first full editions of Zhang Tianyi's works:

Stories and shorter works[edit]

  • "A Three-and-a-Half Days' Dream" (1929)
  • "Mr. Jing Ye" (1930)
  • "Revenge" (1930 to 1931)
  • "The Sorrows of Pig Guts" (1931)
  • "On the Lack of Vigor in Composition: Its Reasons and its Cure" (1932)
  • "A Tale of Writing" (1933)
  • "Tips" (1933)
  • "A Hyphenated Story" (1934)
  • "Smile" (1934)
  • "Strange Encounter" (1934)
  • "The Bulwark" (1936)
  • "Mr. Hua Wei" (1938)
  • "Art and Struggle" (1939)
  • "The Story of Luo Wenying" (1952)

Novels, novellas, and novellettes[edit]


  1. ^ "Zhang Tianyi". Authors and Translators Index. Renditions: A Chinese-English Translation Magazine. Retrieved March 13, 2009. http://www.renditions.org/renditions/authors/zhangty.html
  2. ^ Hung-Yok Ip. "Fashioning Appearances: Feminine Beauty in Chinese Communist Revolutionary Culture". Modern China. Vol. 29, No. 3 (Jul. 2003), pp. 329–361 Sage Publications, Inc. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3181296
  3. ^ Anderson, Marston. The Limits of Realism: Chinese Fiction in the Revolutionary Period. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. P. 155. Escholarship Program. California Digital Library. Retrieved March 14, 2009. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft4s2005qm
  4. ^ Shereshevskaya, N. "Про тех, кто родом из детства". In Путешествие дядюшки Тик-Так и другие сказки современных зарубежных писателей (The Travels of Uncle Tick-Tock and Other Stories by Contemporary Foreign Writers). Moscow: Pravda Publishers, 1989.

External links[edit]