Featured in this Mānoa volume is The Woman Zou, the third in a series of novellas by the distinguished woman writer Zhang Yihe. Born in 1942 in Chongqing, Sichuan, Zhang Yihe was the daughter of Zhang Bojun, a high official in the Chinese Communist Party who was purged in 1957 and labeled a public enemy. By association, Zhang Yihe was convicted of counterrevolutionary activities and sentenced to twenty years in a remote prison camp. After serving ten years, she was released and allowed to return to Beijing in 1979. When she retired in 2001 from teaching at the Chinese National Opera Academy, she began writing her novellas based on the lives of her fellow women prisoners. Her nonfiction books were banned in China and she became an outspoken critic of China’s censorship laws. In 2004, she received the International PEN Award for Independent Chinese Writing. The award committee wrote that
Zhang Yihe’s writing is not only an indictment of the age of darkness, but it is also an affirmation of the indefatigable human dignity and a negation of all attempts to destroy this dignity… Zhang Yihe’s work illustrates the rarely seen courage among contemporary Chinese writers to defend freedom, dignity and historical memories.
The other outstanding writers in this volume are Yi Zhou, whose writing awards include the first prize for novellas and short stories in the Yellow River Literature competition, the Dunhuang Literary Award, and the Lu Xun literary prize, and Zhu Wenying, who is considered one of the leading representatives of post-70s women writers and has received the Annual People’s Literature Prize, among other awards.
The Zither was translated and guest edited by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping.
More News from Mānoa
Two Mānoa pieces are included in the new Pushcart anthology, including Xiao Xiao’s “Crime against Grief: Myth of an Age” (translated by Ming Di and Frank Stewart) and Tang Donhong’s essay, “Chairman Mao is Dead!” (translated by Anne Henochowicz). Both are included in the Mānoa volume, Tyranny Lessons.