QIONG YAO, PEN NAME OF CHEN ZHE (1938— )
QIONG YAO, PEN NAME OF CHEN ZHE (1938— ). Romance novelist. Born in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, Qiong Yao arrived in Taiwan with her family in 1949. Her first collection of short stories, Chuang wai (Outside the Window), was published in 1963 and since then she has written numerous novels, many of which have been adapted into popular movies or television series. Arguably the most popular romance novelists in the Chinese-speaking world, Qiong Yao places the development of a romantic relationship between the protagonists at the heart of all her novels, focusing on falling in love and the courtship, as well as the encounter and resolution of conflicts that are presented in the form of a triangular relationship, parental rejection, or misunderstanding between the lovers. Nearly all her novels emphasize the feelings of the female protagonist, often an innocent and beautiful girl, who makes unconditional commitment to the romantic relationship; her faith and good behavior are always rewarded in the end. In celebrating romantic love, Qiong Yao’s novels tend to neglect sociopolitical considerations. In her novels, both the conflict and the climax are directly related to the core theme of love. In 1970s Taiwan under martial law of the authoritarian government, and in 1980s mainland just coming out of the political and ideological tight control of the Mao era, her novels, with their unequivocal emphasis on the true emotions shared by a young couple, were a breath of fresh air for teenagers learning about love and romantic relationships. See also WOMEN.