Eileen Chang

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Eileen Chang (simplified Chinese: 张爱玲; traditional Chinese: 張愛玲; pinyin: Zhāng Ailíng; Cantonese Yale: Zoeng Oiling) (September 30, 1920 – September 8, 1995) was a Chinese writer. Her most famous works include Lust, Caution and Love in a Fallen City.

She is noted for writings that deal with the tensions between men and women in love, and are considered by some scholars to be among the best Chinese literature of the period. Chang's portrayal of life in 1940s Shanghai and occupied Hong Kong is remarkable in its focus on everyday life and the absence of the political subtext which characterised many other writers of the period. Yuan Qiongqiong is a Taiwanese author who draws inspiration from Eileen Chang. A poet and a professor at the University of Southern California, Dominic Cheung, said that "had it not been for the political division between the Nationalist and Communist Chinese, she would have almost certainly won a Nobel Prize".[1]

Chang's enormous popularity and famed image were in distinct contrast to her personal life, which was marred by disappointment, tragedy, increasing reclusiveness, and ultimately her sudden death from cardiovascular disease at age 74.

Contents

Biography

Childhood and youth

Born in Shanghai, China, she was originally named Zhang Ying (张瑛). She was the first of two children to Zhang Zhiyin (張志沂) (1896–1953) and Huang Suqin (黃素瓊) (1893–1957). Her paternal grandfather, Zhang Peilun (張佩綸), was son-in-law to Li Hongzhang, an influential Qing court official, who married Chang's paternal grandmother, Li Juyu (李菊耦) (1866–1916). Her maternal grandfather, Huang Yisheng (黄翼升), was a prominent naval commander. Her childhood had also been shared with paternal aunt Zhang Maoyuan (張茂淵) (1898–1991).

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