Wang Anyi

Wang Anyi

Wang Anyi (1954– ) is a Chinese novelist, screenwriter, and short story author. The Cultural Revolution forced an end to her education after junior high school; she was instead moved to a commune in Anhui. It wasn’t until 1978 that she was allowed to return to Shanghai to edit the magazine Childhood. Her writing career truly began in the late 1970s when she started to publish short stories. In 1980 she attended the literature workshop of the Writers’ Association of China and in 1983 she was a part of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Anyi has written more than 100 short stories, 40 novelettes, 10 novels, and various prose pieces and essays. Her most famous work is The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, which was adapted for television, stage, and screen. She is among the most widely read authors of the post-Mao era and is one of China’s most influential and innovative writers. Anyi is often compared to writer Eileen Chang, who is also from Shanghai and also writes vivid descriptions of the city and its characters. She has won numerous awards including the Mao Dun Literature Award in 2000, a nomination of her novel Baotown for the Los Angeles Times’ book of the year, and a nomination in 2011 for the Man Booker International Prize. Wang Anyi lives in Shanghai and is currently the chairwoman of the Writers’ Association of Shanghai. She is a professor of Chinese literature and creative writing at Fudan University.

Brocade Valley

Fiction by Wang Anyi

One of a trilogy of novellas addressing the theme of women in extramarital affairs, Brocade Valley shocked China when it appeared in 1987, becoming a bestseller and effectively dynamiting the sexual puritanism of official Chinese writing. It is only in Brocade Valley, the third and most controversial of the series, that the sexually adventurous woman is not punished for her activities. On the contrary, she is awarded a highly modern prize: a new sense of self which enables her to author her own story, the story of a young married editor who has a passing but liberating affair with a famous writer.…
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