Fang Fang

Fang Fang
b. 1955, Nanjing
Widely regarded as a writer of ‘New Realism’ (Xin xieshi zhuyi), Fang Fang’s fiction is distinguished by a direct and fierce confrontation with reality. Fang Fang moved to Wuhan with her family when she was a child. After graduating from middle school, she did various manual jobs, including pulling carts, before entering Wuhan University, majoring in Chinese literature. Fang Fang became known when she was a college student after publishing several short stories about urban youth.
In 1987, with the publication of the novella The Scenery (Fengjing), Fang established her status as a key figure of the ‘New Realism’. Told by a narrator who died as a baby, The Scenery portrays with stark realism the life of a coolie’s nine children in a slum of Wuhan. In this setting, Fang Fang depicts ordinary people without any hint of optimism. The novella Sunset (Luori) focuses on a mother who treats her children badly while they wish her dead, both for understandable reasons. Fang Fang also deals with the life of intellectuals. Nowhere to Escape (Wuchu duntao) shows the crushing of an ambitious young university professor by the system; and Lofty Clouds and Waters (Xingyun liushui) concerns professors torn by a sense of duty and poverty. Her novel Wuni-Lake Genealogy (Wunihu nianpu, 1999) probes the complex psychology of Chinese intellectuals before and after the Anti-Rightist Campaign of 1957.
Fang, Fang (1996). Three Novellas by Fang Fang. Contemporary Chinese Women Writers 5. Beijing: Panda Books.
——(1997). ‘Hints’.
Trans. Ling Yuan. Chinese Literature (Summer).
——(1997). ‘Stakeout’. Trans. Zhang Siyang. Chinese Literature (Summer).
——(1998). ‘Predestined’. Trans. Zhang Siyang. Chinese Literature (Winter).
Wu, Lijuan (1997). ‘Fang Fang, Reflecting Her Times’. Trans. Li Ziliang. Chinese Literature (Summer).

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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