Geling Yan Biography
Geling Yan was Born in Shanghai and served with the People's Liberation
Army during the Cultural Revolution, starting at age 12 as a dancer in an
After serving for over a decade (including tours in Tibet and as a war
correspondent during the Sino-Vietnam border conflict), she was discharged with
a rank equivalent to Lieutenant Colonel. She published her first novel in 1985
and ever since has produced a steady stream of novels, short stories, novellas,
essays and scripts. Her best-known novels in English are The Banquet Bug (The
Uninvited in its UK edition - written directly in English) and The Lost Daughter
of Happiness, (translated by Cathy Silber) both published by Hyperion in the US
and Faber & Faber in the UK. She has also published a novella and short story
series called White Snake and Other Stories, translated by Lawrence A. Walker
and published by Aunt Lute Books.
Several of Geling Yan's works have been adapted for film, including
internationally distributed films Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl (directed by Joan
Chen) and Siao Yu (directed by Silvia Chang; script co-written by Ang Lee), and
Chinese director Zhang Yimou (To Live, Raise the Red Lantern) has acquired the
film rights of one of her novellas. She has also written numerous scripts based
on her own and other authors' work, both in English and Chinese, including most
recently a script for Chinese director Chen Kaige on the classic Peking opera
star Mei Lanfang. She may be the only person in the world who concurrently holds
membership in the Writers' Association of China and in Hollywood's Writers'
Guild of America!
Geling Yan came to the United States at the end of 1989 for graduate study.
She holds a bachelor's degree in literature from Wuhan University and a Master's
in Fine Arts in Fiction Writing from Columbia College, Chicago. She has
published over 20 books in various editions in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the US,
the UK and elsewhere; has won around 30 literary and film awards; and has had
her work adapted or written scripts for over a dozen film, TV and radio works.
Her works have been translated into Dutch, English, French, German, Japanese,
Portuguese, and Thai, and translations are currently in preparation in Hebrew,
Hungarian, Italian, Romanian and Vietnamese.
This biography was last updated on 08/06/2011.
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