Member Blogs > Books Tell You WhyEileen Chang and Chinese Modernist Fiction

  • Sat, 12 Aug 2017 08:00:00    Permalink
    Eileen Chang and Chinese Modernist Fiction

    Why hasn’t Eileen Chang become a household name in modern literary studies? We’re not entirely sure, and we want to remedy that. She was born in 1920 in Shanghai, China, and passed away in her Los Angeles apartment in 1995. Chinese readers know the novelist and short-story writer as Chang Ai-Ling. In The New York Times obituary*, the newspaper described Chang as “a giant of modern Chinese literature.” She enrolled at the University of Hong Kong in 1939, but was unable to continue her studies as a result of the Japanese invasion during World War II. In 1941, following the Japanese invasion, the University of Hong Kong shut down. Chang’s experiences in Hong Kong during the war played a part in shaping one of her best-known texts in the West, “Lust, Caution,” made into a film of the same name by Ang Lee in 2007. In 1952, Chang returned to Hong Kong only to leave a few years later for the United States. She spent the remaining years of her life in Los Angeles, and largely as a recluse. We love her fiction, and we want you to discover it, too.

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