Zhang Wei

Zhang Wei
b. 1956, Shandong
Zhang Wei has received more than thirty literary awards for work renowned for its cultural perspective on social reality. Zhang studied creative writing at Yantai Normal Institute around 1979 and 1980. Since 1980, he has published over seventy individual volumes of writings, including fiction, poetry and essays.
Zhang’s fiction is known for its shadings of romanticism and idealism interwoven with a mystical style. His first and still most influential novel is The Ancient Boat (Guchuan, 1986). In an atmospheric and tale-like style, the novel creates a panoramic description of China’s historical reality and development from the first land reform of the 1940s to the economic reforms of the 1980s. Zhang’s other celebrated novel, September’s Fable (Jiuyue yuyan, 1992), is a mystical tale of the changing lives of several generations of inhabitants of a small village on the north Chinese seacoast.
Zhang’s other major fiction includes Seven Kinds of Mushrooms (Mogu qizhong, 1988) and Bai Hui (1994). Seven Kinds of Mushrooms, a novella drawing upon the author’s dreams of childhood, tells the story of a forest king and his subjects in an experimental style. Bai Hui represents the author’s agitation over an age of commercialism which is conveyed through the long monologues of the protagonist. The novel provoked a contentious debate in intellectual and literary circles. In addition to novels, Zhang Wei’s short stories, essays and poems have increasingly drawn the attention of audiences. Many again echo China’s social changes and the author’s feelings about them.
Lu, Jie (2000). ‘Nostalgia without Memory: Reading Zhang Wei’s Essays in the Context of Fable of September’. In Martin Woesler (ed.), The Modern Chinese Literary Essay: Defining the Chinese Self in the 20th Century. Bochum: Bochum University Press, 211–25.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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