ZHANG KANGKANG (1950— ) - The Dictionary

Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

The Dictionary

ZHANG KANGKANG (1950— ). Novelist. Born in Hangzhou, Zhang Kangkang was sent to the wilderness of the northeast to work on a state farm after graduating from middle school. Her first story “Deng” (Lamp) was published in 1972, followed by novels Fenjie xian (The Great Divide), Dandan de chenwu (The Light Morning Mist), Beiji guang (Northern Lights), and Yinxing banlü (The Invisible Companion), plus several short stories, including “Ai de quanli” (The Right to Love). Nearly all of these works portray lives of educated city youth sent to China’s remote countryside. As a member of that generation, Zhang has captured its spirit through her descriptions of the hardships they endured, the idealism they were devoted to, and the purity and romanticism they embodied, as well as the disillusionment and uncertainty they had to confront. Among her later works are the controversial Qing’ai hualang (The Gallery of Romatic Love), Chi tong dan zhu (All Shades of Red), about progressive intellectuals in the first half of the turbulent 20th century, and Zuo nü (The Troublemaking Woman), which depicts an independent woman who refuses to conform to the female stereotypes prescribed by a male-centered society. Zhang currently lives in Harbin and is deputy chairwoman of the Heilongjiang Writers’ Association. See also CULTURAL REVOLUTION.