Yang Jiang: A woman's legacy through words
Updated: 2016-05-26 13:43
By Li Hongrui(chinadaily.com.cn)
Three of Us. [Photo/amazon.cn]
Yang Jiang, the acclaimed writer who died at the age of 104 on Wednesday, an age that stands for longevity in Chinese culture, left a legacy with her novels, prose, essays and translations.
Throughout her life, she penned 18 prose works, 9 novels, 3 plays, 3 essay collections and 4 Chinese translations of classic novels.
Her Three of Us (Wo Men Sa) is an affectionate memory of her beloved husband Qian Zhongshu and daughter Qian Yuan from the perspective of a wife and mother. As the only surviving member of the three, Yang started the first two chapters with a dream. Yang finished the book when she was 92. As she said, the book is "her own memory of the three of them".
Baptism is one of Yang Jiang's best -known novels. The book describes the ideological remolding of a group of intellectuals after liberation. Her clean, simple yet lively words lightly pictured a diverse group of intellectuals and their experiences.
Six Chapters from My Life "Downunder". [Photo/amazon.cn]
Yang Jiang's prose Six Chapters from My Life "Downunder" recorded her difficult time when working in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution. Despite the hard times, Yang presented it in a humorous and lyrical way. Her words are mild as ever, yet they are also striking.
Reaching the Brink of Life. [Photo/amazon.cn]
Reaching the Brink of Life is not tasteless "chicken soup" that aims to teach readers something through pat morals and made-up stories. It is Yang's philosophy, a deep meditation on life and human nature at the age of 96. After being through so many ups and downs, happiness and sorrows in almost a century, Yang's philosophical musings should not be missed.
Through her soft, gentle style, Yang Jiang recorded the life of her father and aunt during the Cultural Revolution in Soon to Have Tea (Jiang Yin Cha). The book was first published in 1983, connected with the life illustrated in Six Chapters from My Life "Downunder".
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