Lin Bai

b. 1958, Beiliu, Guangxi
Writer
Lin Bai made a name for herself in the late 1980s as an experimental writer known for intense introspection and a daring exploration of female experience. Although she began writing as a poet in 1977 and continues to publish poetry, she is primarily known as a fiction writer whose work bears strong autobiographical features. Many of her novels and novellas are based on her childhood growing up in the 1960s in the small southwestern town of Beiliu.
Combining intense emotional energy and a vivid sense of place, these stories spring from personal memory, which the author explores as a fresh source of literary inspiration against a background of drab mass culture and the falsehood of collective history. Some of her fiction explores strong friendship between women with homoerotic overtones.
Her novel, One Person’s Battle (Yigeren de zhanzheng), stirred up considerable controversy when published in 1994. Based on her own life as a young writer moving from an outlying provincial town to the cultural centre of Beijing, the novel is noted for its highly individualized treatment of a woman’s professional and private life. Its frank portrayal of female bodily experience marked a new depth in the exploration of forbidden territory in the post-Mao cultural scene. Her other works include the novels Bullet through an Apple (Zidan chuanguo pingguo) and Glass Beetle (Boli chung), and the novellas Water in a Glass (Pingzhong zhi shui) and Chair in the Corridor (Huilang zhi yi).
HU YING

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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