Geling Yan

 

Geling Yan is one of the most prominent writers in the Chinese language today and a well-established writer in English. Born in Shanghai to a novelist father and actress mother, she entered the Chinese People’s Liberation Army at age 12 and served as a ballet and folk dancer in military performance troupes. She began writing at age 19 as a military correspondent covering the Sino-Vietnamese border war. She left China in 1989 for the United States, where she earned a Master’s in Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Columbia College Chicago. She currently lives in Berlin.

 

Geling Yan has published around 20 volumes of novels, short stories, and essays and has written or adapted scripts for over a dozen film and TV productions. Her novels published in English are The Banquet Bug (The Uninvited in the UK edition) and The Lost Daughter of Happiness. Internationally released films based on her work include Siao Yu (directed by Silvia Chang and produced by Ang Lee), Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl (directed by Joan Chen), Forever Enthralled (directed by Chen Kaige), andNanjing Heroes (directed by Zhang Yimou, starring Christian Bale).

 

Ms. Yan belongs to both the Writers’ Association of China and Hollywood’s Writers Guild of America. She has won more than 30 literary and film awards, and her work has been translated into a dozen languages. White Snake and Other Stories, translated by Lawrence Walker, was her first work published in English.

 

To learn more about Geling Yan’s latest work, visit her Red Room writer profile.

 

Author photo by Su Tang

 

 

 

BOOK

White Snake

By Geling Yan

In this collection of five short stories and a novella, set mostly in China during and after the Cultural Revolution, Geling Yan presents us with unforgettable characters who have all, in one way or another, left home. Taking as her territory the disorienting space between home and away, Yan charts the unexpected and illuminating transformation of her characters' hearts and minds as they find themselves thrust into unlikely intimacy with strangers who embody different histories and different desires. White Snake is the first English translation of this award-winning author's elegantly crafted writing.

White Snake

By Geling Yan

In this collection of five short stories and a novella, set mostly in China during and after the Cultural Revolution, Geling Yan presents us with unforgettable characters who have all, in one way or another, left home. Taking as her territory the disorienting space between home and away, Yan charts the unexpected and illuminating transformation of her characters' hearts and minds as they find themselves thrust into unlikely intimacy with strangers who embody different histories and different desires. White Snake is the first English translation of this award-winning author's elegantly crafted writing.

PRAISE FOR WHITE SNAKE

Yan’s stories are very sensuous. One experiences and becomes immersed in her works instead of simply reading them. In my opinion, Geling Yan is the most exquisite fiction writer in the Chinese language.

—Joan Chen

 

Not only is Geling Yan a magnificent storyteller, but she is also a master stylist. Every character she creates on the page quickly springs to action with all of the complexity, contradiction, drama, tragedy and triumph of real life. Yan is one of the best of today’s writers…Every fan of first-rate fiction will finish this collection with a hunger for more of this talented writer’s magic.

—Larry Engelmann, author of Daughter of China

 

This superb collection of five stories and a novella by a prizewinning Chinese writer vividly dramatizes the varied human consequences of her country’s repressive and punitive "Cultural Revolution"…Translator Walker has appended extensive and informative "Footnotes" to his admirable translation of Yen’s accomplished and seductively beautiful stories.

—Kirkus Reviews

 

Yan is an incredible writer—subtle, gorgeous, sly, and profound…this book, to put it simply, is a knock-out. Not only do the stories here describe an important moment in human history…they do what great literature has always done. They move us. They uplift us. They show us again that it is a strange and wonderful and terrible thing to be what we are.

—Ink, The New Times L.A.

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