Speaker Programgeling Yan: Living to Tell the Story
The acclaimed contemporary American writer Geling Yan will speak 3:00-4:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, 2009, at the American Cultural Center. This program is in Chinese and free of charge.
Geling Yan is one of the most acclaimed contemporary novelists and screenwriters writing in the Chinese language today and a well-established writer in English. A U.S. citizen born in Shanghai, Yan served with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) during the Cultural Revolution, starting at age 12 as a dancer in an entertainment troupe.
Yan published her first novel in 1985 and ever since has produced a steady stream of novels (including Female Grasslands, The Lost Daughter of Happiness, The Human Realm), short stories (including Siao Yu, Across the Sea), novellas (including White Snake and Other Stories, Celestial Bath, Whoever has a Daughter Come of Age), essays and scripts. Several of Yan's works have been adapted for film, including internationally distributed films "Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl" (directed by Joan Chen) and "Siao Yu" (directed by Sylvia Chang; script co-written by Ang Lee). She has also written numerous scripts, both in English and Chinese, including most recently for Chinese director Chen Kaige on the classic Peking opera star Mei Lanfang "Forever Enthralled." She may be the only person in the world who concurrently holds membership in the Chinese Writers' Association of the People's Republic of China and in Hollywood's Writers' Guild of America.
Yan holds a bachelor's degree in literature from Wuhan University and a Master's in Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Columbia College, Chicago. To date she has published over 20 books in various editions in English; has won around 30 literary and film awards; and has had her work adapted or has written scripts for over a dozen film, TV and radio works. Her works have been translated into ten languages, and translations are currently in preparation in three more.