沈從文 (1902 - 1988)
Shen Congwen (1902 - 1988)
Originally named Shen Yuehuan; pseudonyms include Xiao Bing, Mao Lin, Jiong Yuan and Jia Chen. Born in Fenghuang, Hunan province. Shen Congwen went to Beijing in 1923 to pursue studies on his own and to learn writing. He started publishing his writings in 1924, and co-edited the supplement to Beijing Morning Post and the weekly Folk Literature with Hu Yepin. In 1928, he went to Shanghai to edit Red and Black and Human World with Hu Yepin and Ding Ling. In the following year, he taught at China College. Starting from 1930, he taught at Wuhan and Qingdao Universities. From 1934 onwards, he edited the literary supplement to L’ impartiale of Beijing and Tianjin. After the outbreak of the War of Resistance against Japan, he went to Kunming to work as a professor at the Southwest Associated University. After the triumph of the War of Resistance, he worked as a professor at Peking University, editing the literary supplements of newspapers including L’impartiale and Yi Shi Bao. Counting from his first collection of works Ducks, Shen published in total 70 volumes of works throughout his life, earning him the reputation as a prolific writer. In 1988, Shen died of a heart attack at the age of 86.
Shen was well-versed in the art of fiction writing. He took his materials from a wide variety of sources, extracting bits and pieces from the lives of different walks of people – from the villages to the cities. Particularly unique are the works depicting the lives of the grassroots population in Xiangxi. His representative work, The Border Town, is a highly stylized piece of emotive “native earth” fiction.