Category Archive: Yan Geling

Congratulations to Yan Geling for Winning the People’s Literature Award!

Congratulations to Yan Geling 

Congratulations Yan Geling

 2014 annual ” Maotai Cup ” People’s Literature Aard in the afternoon of November 15 held a grand ceremony at the Lu Xun Literature Institute, vice chairman of China Writers Association Jianming, Zhang Jian, general manager of the Maotai Group Liu Zili, award-winning writer Li Ying, Ji Dima plus, Liu Xinglong , Treats , attended the ceremony.

    This year is the “People’s Literature” novel harvest year, a total of seven influential published a lengthy, potentially it also increases the difficulty of the judges vote. Get good novel award is Liu Xinglong’s “Pan snake” and Treats “Barra is the seat of the city.” 

Beautiful Teacher by Yan Geling, China Times








她也指出,因為近年影視改編占去了她的時間,讓她有種「被鞭子趕著往前走」的感覺,不再像寫《小姨多賀》時可以去日本3趟,就為了抓住日本女人的感覺。今年初她發表的新作《賭徒》,寫作過程中她也多次赴澳門學賭,體驗賭客「驚心動魄」的情緒 ,但她自承:「不再能照過去的節奏,再多等一等,再抓準一點了。」


Coming Home by Yan Geling, Wall Street Journal

Born in Shanghai, author Yan Geling has written numerous well-known Chinese novels, among them The Flowers of War and Lost Daughter of Happiness. But it’s her book The Criminal Lu Yanshi that’s lately been caught up in controversy—even though it was published three years ago.

The Criminal Lu Yanshi tells the story of a Chinese professor sent to a labor camp during the country’s “anti-rightist campaign” of the 1950s, a period during which more than a half-million Chinese were persecuted as intellectuals. The story formed the basis for the hit film “Coming Home,” released in May and directed byZhang Yimou.

But there’s one big difference: the movie eliminated references to the campaign, which is seldom publicly discussed in China, though it did preserve the backdrop of the Cultural Revolution, a decade of political madness and persecution that began in 1966. Instead, it focuses on other aspects of the story and adds new plot lines, including the professor’s struggle on his return from prison to help his wife recover her memory after she suffers the trauma of their separation. Mr. Zhang was widely criticized for his movie’s omissions, in a controversy that fueled debate about censorship in China, as well as renewed attention to Ms. Yan’s book.

China Real Time recently caught up with Ms. Yan, who lives in Berlin, to discuss her thoughts on Mr. Zhang’s adaptation of her work and the background of the controversy. Edited excerpts (translated from the Chinese):

When I saw Coming Home at a movie theater, there were many older people crying, but people born in the 1980s or 1990s didn’t show much emotion. Why do you think that was the case?

Chinese born in the 1980s have some knowledge of the Cultural Revolution, but those born in the 1990s and after generally have little knowledge and interest in it. I think that’s unfortunate. We should remember what has occurred in China. This is why I wrote this book and why writers of my generation keep writing these stories. We want to make great literature out of this [history]. The Cultural Revolution lasted ten years and turned many lives upside down. We have to accept it as part of modern Chinese history.

How did you deal with such ignorance when planning your book?

Any novel that addresses human nature in extreme situations is universally interesting to readers. I remember when we were in China [decades ago], we were introduced to Soviet-era writers such as Alexander Solzhenitsyn and Boris Pasternak, especially the latter’s novel Doctor Zhivago. We were thrilled to read works by authors who shared life experiences and internal psychological experiences with us. As long as you write a story with enough literary elements — character development, depth of emotion, psychological buildup, internal examination — the story can have universal appeal.

The film version avoids the harsh realities of Lu Yanshi’s time in prison and in a reform-through-labor camp. Why do you think Zhang Yimou left those parts out? 

Zhang Yimou was more interested in the latter part [of the novel], the coming home part. He was fascinated with Lu Yanshi’s efforts to revive his wife’s memory. Considering film censorship in China, he was also limited in his choices and had to make a movie based on the latter half of my novel. In the movie, Zhang makes us realize that some memories have been filtered out and helps us imagine what those memories might be. We imagine how [his wife] entered this state of forgetfulness, what their life must have been like together and what kind of love they shared.


How did you research labor camp life?

In China, I think many people have experience with or know about the reform-through-labor system that was recently abolished. I did research on the topic and talked to former inmates. An older man I regard as a beloved grandpa told me stories of his time in a labor camp in Qinghai Province, and they inspired me. I heard these stories more than 20 years ago. Before I started writing the novel, I traveled to where the prison had been. Although parts of it are already in ruins, most of it was still there. I talked to former guards and their adult children. This way, I was able to learn the story from both sides.

In your earlier books, you used a female point of view to examine the heroine’s destiny. This time, you used a male character. Why the change?

I am generally interested in women’s lives, as I am a woman and have many female friends who tell me stories about themselves or stories they have heard or witnessed. But that does not mean I cannot write from a male character’s viewpoint. I write a character in whatever gender is necessary for the story.

You wrote the screenplays for the film version of your books Siao Yu and Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl. Which do you prefer writing—screenplays or books?  

I have written many scripts, some better than others, but I don’t love the job. I love the freedom of writing novels, the ability to work alone, think alone and make the whole production of a novel alone. I love this freedom and this power.

严歌苓否认版权千万起步 称当电视剧编剧还是新兵



    《娘要嫁人》正在东方卫视热播,戏中上世纪70年代的寡妇爱情引起了观众的质疑。昨天,编剧严歌苓在上海接受本报专访,谈起这部戏的台前幕后和她的金牌编剧生涯。她说,主演蒋雯丽不是她选的,但对其表演很满意。对于争议,曾遭遇家庭不幸的她称想要子女尊重父母的感情。对于她作品的众多女主角,她也很好奇:她们演我的戏都大放光彩。至于和张艺谋等大牌导演合作,自谦不自信的严歌苓却有几条规矩:只写一稿、不给大纲、不跟剧组,钱还不能少。撰文:本报记者 曾俊 Click here to read more »

‘A heartbreaking tale of love, brutality, companionship, bravery and sacrifice’ – The Flowers of War by Geling Yan

Flowers of War cover

December 1937, Nanking, China. Advancing Japanese forces have routed the Chinese army. Those who are able bodied have fled in disarray. Women and children, the old injured and infirm are left to the mercy of a marauding Japanese army. Anarchy rules and every man and woman is left to fend for themselves. Click here to read more »



深圳商报记者 董芳芳

Mom is getting married

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