Author Wang Gang will discuss his book, “English”, a semi-autobiographical account of growing up in the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, or bing tuan (literally “army group”) – the 2.6 million member-strong all-important instrument of state control in the territory.
The novel, published in Chinese in 2004 and now translated into English, was critically-acclaimed and a bestseller in China, winning the “best novel of the year” prize in 2005 by the prestigious People’s Literature Publishing House. It has been translated into seven languages.
Set in the Cultural Revolution, it tells the story of a 12-year-old boy Love Liu who wonders what life is like beyond the region of Xinjiang in China’s remote northwest. There, conformity is valued above all else and suspicion governs every interaction among neighbours, classmates, and even friends. Into this stifling atmosphere steps a tall, clean-shaven teacher from Shanghai, wearing an elegant grey wool jacket and carrying an English dictionary under his arm.
Love Liu turns to the dictionary for answers to his most pressing questions about love and life, and a whole new world opens up for him.
This talk will be in Mandarin, with interpretation into English
DATE: Wed, November 25
VENUE: Trends Lounge, The Place (details below)
ENTRANCE: free to FCCC members, 50 rmb on the door to non-members
REGISTRATION: email firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Wang Gang was born in in 1960 in Xinjiang, where he spent his entire childhood. The son of Han parents in the predominantly ethnic Uighur region, Wang’s father followed Communist general Wang Zhen to Xinjiang in 1949 as a volunteer. It was there that he met and married Wang’s mother. He started writing short stories and novels in his spare time in the 1980s. A graduate of the Chinese department of the Northwest University in Xinjiang, Wang moved to Beijing to attend Beijing Normal University and Lu Xun Literature Colleage for post-graduate studies and to develop a writing career.
Following a short spell in real estate, Wang returned to writing in 1996, beginning work on his semi-autobiographical novel English, which took him eight years to complete. Wang Gang also started what was to become a long-term collaboration with renowned film director Feng Xiaogang, writing scripts for movies such as The Dark Side of the Moon (1997) and A World without Thieves (2005). To date, he has published three novels, and is a member of the Chinese Writers’ Association. He currently lives in Beijing, and is married with one son. “English” is Wang’s first novel to be translated into the English language.
Trends Lounge 时尚廊
L214, 2/F, Trends Bldg (connected to The Place’s north building), 9 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District