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), and Nanjing 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
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