Qiu Xiaolong biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Qiu Xiaolong

Qiu Xiaolong

How to pronounce Qiu Xiaolong: chew shao-long (shao rhymes with how)

Qiu Xiaolong Biography

Qiu Xiaolong was born and raised in Shanghai. He managed to avoid the worst of Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution by falling ill with bronchitis at the age of 16, so he was able to stay in the city, while his peers left to be "re-educated" in the countryside.  One day while sitting on a bench in Shanghai's Bund he noticed some people studying an English book,  that was the start of an interest that grew into an academic specialty in modernist poetry.

He came to the US in 1988, at the age of about 30, on a Ford Foundation grant.  He chose to study at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, because of his enthusiasm for the poet T.S. Eliot, who was brought up in St Louis before emigrating to the UK at the age of 25. Following the Tiananmen Square massacre he decided not to return to China and instead managed to extricate his wife, Wang Lijun.  Today they live in St Louis with their daughter, Julia.

Qiu Xiaolong is the author of the award-winning Inspector Chen series of mystery novels, including Death of a Red Heroine, A Loyal Character Dancer, When Red Is Black, A Case of Two Cities, Red Mandarin Dress, and The Mao Case. He is also the author of two books of poetry translations, Treasury of Chinese Love Poems and Evoking T'ang, and his own poetry collection, Lines Around China.

Qiu Xiaolong's website

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Interview

Qiu Xiaolong talks about his mystery series featuring Shanghai detective Chief Inspector Chen, poetry, food, and modern China.

Your books are so evocative and speak to the recent Chinese past, specifically the Chinese Cultural Revolution and post-Tiananmen Square, does the Government give you a hard time when you go back? Do people speak freely with you, or do you sense hesitance or avoidance on the officials part or friends to discuss life in China today?
I was worried about the official reaction when Death of a Red Heroine first came out, but the Chinese government must have been too busy with other concerns to notice a book written in English. Nobody talked to me about it during my subsequent visits back to China. Then about one year ago, a friend of mine got in touch with Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House, which started translating the book into Chinese. And I have just got a copy of it this month. The fact that the novel can be published there really surprises me. At the same time, the Chinese version also surprises me with its dramatic changes and cuts. In the English version, the story happens in Shanghai, but in the Chinese version, Shanghai has become "H city." All the street names have consequently changed too. Not to mention the removal of politically sensitive words or sentences. So Shanghai has been shanghaied, or I have been ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Qiu Xiaolong at BookBrowse
Shanghai Redemption jacket Enigma of China jacket Don't Cry, Tai Lake jacket Years of Red Dust jacket
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