LU XING’ER (1949—2004)
LU XING’ER (1949—2004). Fiction writer, essayist, and playwright. Born and educated in Shanghai, Lu Xing’er was one of the urban youths sent to work in Beidahuang in the northeast. For 10 years she worked on a state farm, until she tested into the Central Institute of Theater in 1978. After graduation, she worked as a playwright for the Chinese Children’s Art Theater. Later she served as an editor for Shanghai Literary Forum. She has published four novels and a number of collections of stories and prose.
In post-Mao literature, Lu Xing’er is known for her vivid portraits of women, particularly educated women, in modern Chinese society. Many of her female characters are successful but unhappy professionals, dissatisfied with the world around them. Like Lu Xing’er, these women belong to a generation brought up to believe in self-sacrifice and in the pursuit of ideals. They find the values of today’s consumerism contrary to their convictions. Lu presents women in their struggle for self-respect and paints an ideal image of women, one that embodies awakened consciousness and a strong sense of purpose in life. Some of her stories are autobiographical, expressing her views about male chauvinism and the difficulties women face in their professional and personal lives. Other stories depict the aspirations of ordinary women, including Liu gei shiji de wen (A Kiss to the Century), Huilou li de tonghua (Fairy Tales in a Grey Building), Nüren bu tiansheng (No One Is Born to Be a Woman), and “Ah, Qingniao” (OK Blue Bird). See also CULTURAL REVOLUTION; SPOKEN DRAMA.