Zhu Tianwen

b. 1956, Taiwan
Writer
Raised in Taiwan, Zhu began publishing short stories while in high school and continued while at Tamkang University. In 1982 she sold the film rights to her short story ‘Growing Up’ (Xiaobi de gushi, 1982) and joined in scripting the film. This began a long working association with the director Hou Hsiao-hsien, writing novellas that she then scripted for films following Hou’s suggestions. Among these were Boys from Fenggui (Fenggui laide ren, 1983), The Time to Live and the Time to Die (Tongnian wangshi, 1985), Dust in the Wind (Lianlian fengchen, 1987) and Daughter of the Nile (Nilohe nü’er, 1987). Most celebrated has been the script she co-authored with Wu Nien-chen for City of Sadness (Beiqing chengshi, 1989), which recreated Taiwanese society at the time of the 28 February Massacre in 1947, an incident that had remained virtually banned from public discourse until shortly before the film was released.
Zhu has also secured a leading place in the fiction of Taiwan in the 1990s, first with the stories collected in Fin-de-siècle Splendour (Shijimo de huali, 1990) and then with Notes of a Desolate Man (Huangren shouji, 1995), an account of a gay’s experience in Taipei.
Martin, Fran (2003). ‘Postmodern Cities and Viral Subjects: Notes of a Desolate Man’. In idem, Situating Sexualities: Queer Representation in Taiwanese Fiction, Film and Public Culture. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 101–16.
Zhu, Tianwen (1999). Notes of a Desolate Man. Trans. Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-Chuan Lin. New York: Columbia University Press.
EDWARD GUNN

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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