- Name: Anyi Wang
- Chinese: 王安忆
- Birthdate: March 6, 1954
- Birthplace: Nanjing, China
- Blood Type:
Wang Anyi represents the generation of writers whose formal education was
disrupted by the Cultural Revolution. She is among the most widely read authors of
the post-Mao era, a breaker of taboos and a speaker for China's younger generation.
Daughter of the famous writer Ru Zhijuan, Wang was born on March 6, 1954 in
Nanjing. In 1955, she moved with her mother to Shanghai, where she attended
school until 1969. As a member of the "Urban Youth" generation that was supposed
to learn from the peasants, she was sent to the Anhui countryside at the age of
sixteen, but managed to leave the commune by joining a local performing arts
troupe as a cellist in 1973. After the Cultural Revolution, she returned to Shanghai
in 1978 to work for the magazine Childhood.
Wang had begun publishing stories in the mid-1970s that were largely based on her
personal experiences. They portrayed the humiliations and frustrations in the everyday
lives of the back-alley residents of Shanghai or depicted the traditional values that are
kept alive in rural areas.
After attending the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa in 1983,
Wang's fiction moved away from socialist realism and turned towards psychological
exploration, such as her "Love Trilogy" (1986-87) that examined female sexuality and
marriage. Her characters are not openly rebellious but express their inner feelings
through quiet self-confidence and a strong will for survival.
In the 1990s, Wang's Shanghai-focused works tapped into a growing surge of
nostalgia for pre-Communist Shanghai and cemented her popularity and status.
Wang was designated the "Best Female Writer in Modern China" in 1998 and was
the head of the official Shanghai Writer's Association for two years.