William Kirby, (born October 13, 1817, Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, England--died June 23, 1906, Niagara, Ontario, Canada), writer whose historical novel The Golden Dog (1877, authorized version 1896) is a classic of Canadian literature.Kirby moved in 1832 to the United States and in 1839 to Canada, where he settled in Niagara and became editor of the Niagara Mail (1850-71) and collector of customs from 1871 to 1895. Kirby was a fervent loyalist (favouring retention of Canada as part of the British Empire) and in the 1840s wrote several works that are intensely pro-British in sentiment...
Lin Yutang, Wade-Giles romanization Lin Yu-t'ang, original name Lin Hele, (born October 10, 1895, Longxi, Fujian province, China--died March 26, 1976, Hong Kong), prolific writer of a wide variety of works in Chinese and English; in the 1930s he founded several Chinese magazines specializing in social satire and Western-style journalism.Lin, the son of a Chinese Presbyterian minister, was educated for the ministry but renounced Christianity in his early 20s and became a professor of English. He traveled to the United States and Europe for advanced study; on his return to China, he taught,..
Gao Xingjian, Wade-Giles romanization Kao Hsing-chien, (born January 4, 1940, Ganzhou, Jiangxi province, China), Chinese emigre novelist, playwright, and critic who in 2000 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature "for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity." He was also renowned as a stage director and as an artist.Gao was educated in state schools and from 1957 to 1962 attended the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute, where he earned a degree in French. Persecuted as an intellectual during the Cultural Revolution, Gao was forced to destroy his early..
Mo Yan, Wade-Giles romanization Mo Yen, pseudonym of Guan Moye, (born March 5, 1955, Gaomi, Shandong province, China), Chinese novelist and short-story writer renowned for his imaginative and humanistic fiction, which became popular in the 1980s. Mo was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature.Guan Moye attended a primary school in his hometown but dropped out in the fifth grade during the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution. He participated in farmwork for years before he started to work in a factory in 1973. He joined the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1976 and began writing stories in..
Du Fu, Wade-Giles romanization Tu Fu, also called Du Gongbu or Du Shaoling, courtesy name (zi) Zimei, (born 712, Gongxian, Henan province, China--died 770, on a riverboat between Danzhou [now Changsha] and Yueyang, Hunan province), Chinese poet, considered by many literary critics to be the greatest of all time.Born into a scholarly family, Du Fu received a traditional Confucian education but failed in the imperial examinations of 735. As a result, he spent much of his youth traveling. During his travels he won renown as a poet and met other poets of the period, including the great Li Bai. After..
Hu Shih, (born Dec. 17, 1891, Shanghai, China--died Feb. 24, 1962, Taiwan), Chinese Nationalist diplomat and scholar, an important leader of Chinese thought who helped establish the vernacular as the official written language (1922). He was also an influential propagator of American pragmatic methodology as well as the foremost political liberal in Republican China (1912-49), advocating building a new country not through political revolution but through mass Chinese education.Early life and education.Hu Shih's father was a scholar-official from Chi-ch'i county in Anhwei province...
Cao Yu, Wade-Giles romanization Ts'ao Yu, pseudonym of Wan Jiabao, (born September 24, 1910, Tianjin, China--died December 13, 1996, Beijing), Chinese playwright who was a pioneer in huaju ("word drama"), a genre influenced by Western theatre rather than traditional Chinese drama (which is usually sung).Wan Jiabao was educated at Nankai University in Tianjin and Qinghua University in Beijing, where he studied contemporary Chinese literature and Western drama. He taught in Baoding and Tianjin and at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Nanjing. In 1934 his first play, the four-act..
Lu Xun, Wade-Giles romanization Lu Hsun, pen name (biming) of Zhou Shuren, (born September 25, 1881, Shaoxing, Zhejiang province, China--died October 19, 1936, Shanghai), Chinese writer, commonly considered the greatest in 20th-century Chinese literature, who was also an important critic known for his sharp and unique essays on the historical traditions and modern conditions of China.YouthBorn to a family that was traditional, wealthy, and esteemed (his grandfather had been a government official in Beijing), Zhou Shuren had a happy childhood. In 1893, however, his grandfather was..