Shanghai writer Cheng Naishan passes away

Updated: 2013-04-22 16:25

By Zhang Kun in Shanghai (

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Shanghai writer Cheng Naishan passed away in the early morning of April 22 in Shanghai at the age of 67 after battling leukemia .

Recognized as a spokesperson for the city, Cheng had a career documenting the city's history, legacy and anecdotes.

Her latest works, a series of six essays in the Shanghai dialect, were published in the Xinmin Evening News from November to Mar 13.

"She can write adeptly about the experiences of all walks of life, from the impoverished to the wealthy," said Lu Zheng, editor of the Shanghai Dialect" column for Xinmin Evening News. Lu praised Cheng’s grasp of the city’s history.

Cheng was born in Shanghai in 1946 to a family of established bankers. She moved with her parents to Hong Kong from 1949 to the mid-50s. She started creative writing when she worked as a teacher of English after graduation from college. Her first collection of short stories Death of a Swan were published in 1982.

Her award-winning novel The Blue House was semi-autobiographical. It tells about a financial executive and his family and children that have weathered 30 years of political vicissitude. It was translated into English and French.

Cheng turned to non-fiction in the 1990s and published a number of works, including, Shanghai Tango, Shanghai Lady, Shanghai Fashion, Shanghai Roman and Shanghai Saxophone. Shanghai Gentleman, has just been translated into English, and will be published soon.