Short story writer, Chinese novelist and the youngest, first female President of the Chinese Writers Association (elected at age 49 in 2006), Tie Ning has long written about ordinary female protagonists who are often from rural backgrounds. From her 1982 story Oh, Xiangxue, which won an Excellent Short Story award and featured a country girl as the protagonist, to signature works such as How Long is Forever (1999, published in a Reader's Digest edition in 2010), which pits an innocent, traditional young woman against adverse conditions, and Da Yu Nv (2000), a novel which depicts themes of love, infidelity, and tension between sisters, Ning has sought to create honest portraits of women, exploring their pain and desire with empathy. In a 2006 china.org article, Ning says, "I hope I can write out the beauty in human feelings and human relationships in a secluded environment, such as rural China..."
Tie Ning was born in Peking in 1957, the daughter of scholars. In 1975, she moved to experience life in rural China, and later attended the Baoding Branch of the Chinese Federation of Art and Literature, as well as the Creative Writing Workshop of Hebei Province. She has penned numerous stories, novellas, and novels, many of which have been translated into other languages, but The Bathing Woman is her first novel translated into English. Career highlights include June's Big Topic (1984), which became a television series; the film adaptation of Oh, Xiangxue, which was included at the 1991 Berlin International Film Festival and received China's Golden Rooster and Hundred Flowers awards for film.
This article was originally published in November 2012, and has been updated for the
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