Kong Jiesheng

Kong Jiesheng
b. 1951, Guangzhou
Writer, broadcaster
Kong Jiesheng is a dissident writer. He emerged on the post-Mao literary scene in 1979 with his fiction on the damage done by the Cultural Revolution to overseas Chinese, factory workers and sentdown youths. His fiction is known for its lyricism and a distinct ‘southern’ flavour with its skilful use of the Cantonese dialect (see dialects).
Kong grew up in an intellectual family. In 1968, he was sent to Gaoyao county as an educated youth, and from 1970 to 1974 to a Production and Construction Corps on Hainan Island.
In 1979 Kong became known nationwide with his sensational and controversial story, ‘On the Other Side of the Stream’ (Zai xiaohe neibian), which reveals a family tragedy through two youths in exile. His 1982 novella The Southern Shore (Nanfang de an) depicts the alienation of educated youths after returning to the city (Guangzhou), and their search for a new identity and destiny. Another novella, An Ordinary Woman Worker (Putong nügong, 1983) deals with the constant struggle of a determined single mother in face of social prejudice. The destruction of human talents and the destruction of nature form two parallel lines in his novella The Big Jungle (Da linmang, 1984). Kong escaped from China after the 4 June Massacre and now works for the Radio Free Asia in Washington, DC.
Leung, Laifong (1994). ‘Kong Jiesheng: A Cantonese Writer’. In idem (ed.), Morning Sun: Interviews with Chinese Writers of the Lost Generation. New York: M.E.Sharpe, 65–79.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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