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Han Shaogong (; born January 1, 1953) is a Chinese novelist and fiction writer.


Biography

Han was born in
Hunan Hunan () is a landlocked province of the People's Republic of China, part of the South Central China region. Located in the middle reaches of the Yangtze watershed, it borders the province-level divisions of Hubei to the north, Jiangxi to the e ...

Hunan
,
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
. While relying on traditional Chinese culture, in particular
Chinese mythology Chinese mythology () is mythology that has been passed down in oral form or recorded in literature in the geographic area now known as "China". Chinese mythology includes many varied myths from regional and cultural traditions. Much of the mytho ...
,
folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the traditions common to that culture, subculture or group. These include oral traditions such as tales, proverbs and jokes. They include material ...
,
Taoism Taoism (), or Daoism (), is a philosophical tradition of Chinese origin which emphasizes living in harmony with the ''Tao'' (, or ''Dao''). In Taosim the ''Tao'' is the source, pattern and substance of everything that exists. Taoism teaches ab ...
and
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion with over 520 million followers, or over 7% of the global population, known as Buddhists. Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on origi ...
as source of inspiration, he also borrows freely from Western literary techniques. As a teenager during the
Cultural revolution The Cultural Revolution, formally the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a violent sociopolitical purge movement in China from 1966 until 1976. Launched by Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Communist Party of China (CPC), its stated goal was ...
he was labeled an ‘educated youth’ and sent to the countryside for re-education through labour. Employed at a local cultural center after 1977, he soon won recognition as an outspoken new literary talent. His early stories attacked the ultra-leftist degradation of China during the
Mao era Mao Zedong (; pronounced , (formerly romanized as Mao Tse-tung), December 26, 1893September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the founder of the People's Republic of China (PRC), which he ru ...

Mao era
; they tended toward a slightly
modernist , Solomon Guggenheim Museum 1946–1959 Modernism is both a philosophy, philosophical movement and an art movement that arose from broad transformations in Western society during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The movement reflected a d ...
style. However, he reemerged in the mid-1980s as the leader of an
avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, radical, or unorthodox with respect to art, culture, or society.John Picchione, The New Avant-garde in Italy: Theoretical De ...
school, the "Search for Roots" or the '' Xungen Movement''.


Work

Han's major work to date is '' A Dictionary of Maqiao'', a novel published in 1996 and translated into English in 2003. His writing is influenced by
Kafka Franz Kafka (3 July 1883 – 3 June 1924) was a German-speaking Bohemian novelist and short-story writer, widely regarded as one of the major figures of 20th-century literature. His work fuses elements of realism and the fantastic. It typic ...

Kafka
and by the
magic realism Magic realism (also known as magical realism or marvelous realism) is a style of fiction and literary genre that paints a realistic view of the modern world while also adding magical elements, often deals with the blurring of the lines between fan ...
of
Gabriel García Márquez Gabriel García Márquez (; 6 March 1927 – 17 April 2014) was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter, and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo or Gabito throughout Latin America. Considered one of the most significant aut ...
. In 1987, he published a Chinese translation of
Milan Kundera Milan (, , Milanese: ; it, Milano ) is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, and the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome. Milan served as the capital of the Western Roman Empire, the Duchy of Milan and the Kingdom of Lombardy ...
's ''
The Unbearable Lightness of Being ''The Unbearable Lightness of Being'' ( cs, Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí) is a 1984 novel by Milan Kundera, about two women, two men, a dog and their lives in the 1968 Prague Spring period of Czechoslovak history. Although written in 1982, the nove ...
'' and edited ''Hainan Jishi Wenxue'' ("Hainan Documentary Literature"), a successful literary magazine. He has been given the French
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) is an order of France established on 2 May 1957 by the Minister of Culture. Its supplementary status to the Ordre national du Mérite was confirmed by President Charles de Gaulle in 196 ...
and with other Chinese writers visited France in 1988 at the invitation of the French Ministry of Culture. Han was invited back in 1989 but was denied permission to leave China until 1991. Han's other works include ''Moon Orchid'' (1985), ''Bababa'' (1985), ''Womanwomanwoman'' (1985), ''Deserted City'' (1989), and ''Intimations'' (2002).


Awards

* In 2011 Han was awarded the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature.


References


External links


Han Shaogong Wins 2011 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature



Columbia University Press publicity page for ''A Dictionary of Maqiao''


(in English) 1953 births Living people Magic realism writers Writers from Changsha Chinese male novelists 20th-century Chinese short story writers Chinese male short story writers 20th-century Chinese male writers People's Republic of China short story writers Short story writers from Hunan {{China-writer-stub