HUO DA (1945— ) - The Dictionary

Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

HUO DA (1945— )
The Dictionary

HUO DA (1945— ). Novelist and journalist. Born in Beijing to a Muslim family, Huo Da studied English in college and worked for the Bureau of Cultural Relics. She has held many official titles, among them member of the People’s Congress and member of the National Political Consultative Conference. Her novel Musilin de zangli (A Muslim Funeral) won the prestigious Mao Dun Literature Prize. Many of her reportages have also won national awards.

Huo is interested in painting grand pictures of historical development. All of her novels deal with critical junctures in the past and are fictional representations of history. Musilin de zangli focuses on three generations of one Muslim family in the 20th century. What makes this novel unique is its treatment of religion and identity negotiated by Chinese Muslims in mainstream Chinese society. Hong chen (Red Dust) is a sympathetic portrayal of a former prostitute in a Beijing neighborhood during the Cultural Revolution. The epic Bu tian lie (Patching Up the Sky) presents the heroic revolt against the British at the beginning of colonial Hong Kong. Her other fictional works include Nianlun (Growth Rings), Chenfu (Vicissitudes), and Hun gui hechu (Where Is the Home for the Soul) and numerous short stories and novellas. Huo is a writer with a strong sense of social responsibility. Her large number of reportages deal with problems faced by ordinary people, such as the lack of protection for consumer rights recounted in Wanjia youle (Worries and Delights of the People), and other issues that impact ordinary citizens.