TANG REN, PEN NAME OF YAN QINGSHU (1919—1980) - The Dictionary

Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

The Dictionary

TANG REN, PEN NAME OF YAN QINGSHU (1919—1980). Novelist. Born in Jiangsu, Tang Ren was a journalist during and after the Sino-Japanese War. He moved to Hong Kong in 1950 and continued to work for newspapers. Tang Ren was a prolific writer, and during the 30 years of his career he published more than 50 books and many essays and articles in newspapers and journals. His best-known work is a historical novel based on the life of Chiang Kai-shek. His Jinling chunmeng (Spring Dream at Nanjing) and its sequel Caoshan canmeng (The Unfinished Dream at the Grass Mountain) remain two of the most popular books in modern Chinese literature. Other books of his, similar in theme and style, include Jiang houzhu milu (Secret Records of the Ex-Emperor Chiang) and Beiyang junfa yanyi (The Historical Romance of the Northern Warlords). His novels about life in the mainland before 1949 include Funiushan enchou ji (Love and Hate at the Crouching Cow Mountain). He also wrote about Taiwan in two novels, Zai hai de nabian (On the Other Side of the Sea) and Huoshao dao (Fire Island). Tang Ren depicts the lives of former officials of the Nationalist government who choose to stay in Hong Kong in Ren zha (Human Dregs) and Xianggang wuyan xia (Under the Hong Kong Eaves). Among his novels about Hong Kong society are Xianggang daheng (A Hong Kong Tycoon) and Wo shi yike yaoqianshu (I Am a Money Tree). His stories are set against important historical and political backgrounds, full of drama and legends. Tang has also written several screenplays, some of which have been made into movies.