Huang Chunming

(Hwang Ch’un-ming)
b. 1939, Taiwan
Writer
Restless and rebellious as a youth, Huang Chunming obtained a degree from the third college he attended and found success among the press literary supplements and literary magazines promoting ‘homeland literature’ for his stories about the neglected, oppressed, and humiliated poor folk of Taiwan. A major figure of the homeland literature movement (see literature in Taiwan), his fiction attracted readers both for its social conscience and its deft humour and satire. With the launching of the New Cinema movement in the early-1980s (see cinema in Taiwan) several of his stories were adapted into films, beginning with Sandwich Man (Erzi de da wanou, 1983).
This portmanteau film features three of Huang’s stories, most famously ‘The Bitter Taste of Apples’ (Pingguo de ziwei), depicting economic boom through a peasant family catapulted into middle-class status after the father is injured by a US military vehicle and showered with compensation. The novella Sayonara, Goodbye (Shayonala, zaijian, 1973), was adapted into a film (1985), satirizing the attitudes of Japanese businessmen, while the lyrical ‘Days for Watching the Sea’, also called ‘Flower in the Rainy Night’ (Kanhai de rizi, 1967) was filmed in 1983. Social concern continued with Two Painters (Liangge youqijiang, filmed in 1990) and a collection of stories titled Set Free (Fangsheng, 1999).
Huang, Chunming (2001). The Taste of Apples. Trans. Howard Goldblatt. New York: Columbia University Press [includes: ‘The Fish’, ‘The Drowning of an Old Cat’, ‘His Son’s Big Doll’, The Gong’, ‘Ringworms’, ‘The Taste of Apples’, ‘Xiaoqi’s Cap’, ‘The Two Sign Painters’ and ‘Sayonara • Zaijian’]
EDWARD GUNN

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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