Zhang Tianyi (September 26, 1906 - April 28, 1985)
Born: 26th September, 1906
Died: 28th April, 1985
Nationality: Chinese author
Region: Nanjing, China, Beijing

Zhang Tianyi Facts

Biography

Zhang Tianyi, Wade-Giles romanization Chang T'ien-i, original name Zhang Yuanding, (born September 26, 1906, Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China--died April 28, 1985, Beijing), Chinese writer whose brilliant, socially realistic short stories achieved considerable renown in the 1930s.

Zhang was born into a scholarly family. In 1924 he graduated from a secondary school in Hangzhou and began writing, at first working in the detective-story genre. The following year he moved to Beijing and, stimulated by the intellectual activity there, began to write satirical stories. His first short story, "Sanriban zhi meng" (1928; "A Dream of Three-and-a-Half Days"), was written in a realistic and direct manner. Collections of his stories include Xiao Bide (1931; "Little Peter"), Tuanyuan (1935; "Family Reunion"), and Suxie sanpian (1943; "Three Sketches"). The story "Hua Wei xiansheng" (1937; "Mr. Huawei"), which is about a hypocritical politician, is commonly considered his best. He also wrote several satirical novels, including Guitu riji (1931; "Ghostland Diary") and Yanglingbang (1936; "The Strange Knight-Errant of the Shanghai Concessions"). Zhang was also a renowned author of children's literature. The children's book Da Lin he Xiao Lin (1933; Big Lin and Little Lin) was particularly popular.

Zhang's career as a short-story writer was curtailed in 1943, when tuberculosis forced him to retire. After recuperating in the late 1940s, he was assigned to a position in the new communist regime as a writer of children's literature. From then on, he published didactic stories and one-act plays for children, including the story "Luo Wenying de gushi" (1952; "The Story of Luo Wenying"). Beginning in 1957, he also served as editor in chief of the magazine Renmin wenxue ("People's Literature").

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