Photo of Yu Hua by Chen Hong.
Chinese author Yu Hua will visit WSU March 2 to speak about his writing and read from his work at 5 p.m. in the Honors Hall lounge. The event is free to the public. English translation will be provided.
Yu, one of China’s most prolific writers, is the author of nearly a dozen books including novels, short stories and essays. His most recent work, the novel “Brothers” (Pantheon, 2009), has sold more than a million copies in China.
Yu’s work focuses primarily on the post-war period of modern China, addressing social issues and the way political and economic events come to bear on families and their internal relationships.
“Yu Hua is a writer of profound insight and incisive perception,” said Christopher Lupke, WSU associate professor of Chinese. “He has a way of saturating each sentence not only with the depictions of the people and events before him but with significances that reach into the deep historical roots of Chinese culture.”
His works have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese and Korean.
Works in English include the novels “To Live” (Anchor) and “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant” (Anchor) and his short story collections, “The Past and Its Punishments” (University of Hawaii Press) and “Cries in the Drizzle” (Anchor).
“To Live” and “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant” were named two of the last decade’s 10 most influential books in China, said Katie Freeman, senior publicist for Pantheon & Schocken Books.
“To Live” was adapted as a screenplay for a movie of the same name, directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li. The film received the top award in 1994 at the Cannes Film Festival.
In 2002, Yu became the first Chinese writer to win the James Joyce Foundation Award. He has also received Italy’s Premio Grinzane Cavour.
Yu was born in 1960 in Zhejiang, China. He completed high school and worked as a dentist for five years before he began to write in 1983. He lives in Beijing and is on a tour of North America.
Yu’s visit is sponsored by the WSU Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures and made possible through a U.S. Department of Education grant from the Undergraduate International Studies and Foreign Language Program.