Ma Jian Biography
Ma Jian was born in Qingdao, China, in 1953. He worked as a watch-menders apprentice, a painter of propaganda boards, and a photojournalist. At the age of thirty, he left his job and traveled for three years across China. In 1987 he completed Stick Out Your Tongue, which prompted the Chinese government to ban his future work.
He left Beijing for Hong Kong in 1987 as a dissident, but he continued to travel to China, and he supported the pro-democracy activists in Tiananmen Square in 1989. After the handover of Hong Kong he moved to Germany and then London, where he now lives with his partner and
translator, Flora Drew. He's free to travel to China, but his books are banned
or censored, and he's forbidden from publishing or making public statements.
Note: In traditional Chinese fashion, Ma Jian places his family name (Ma) first and his given name (Jian) last.
This biography was last updated on 06/03/2008.
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