The story appears on

Page A3

May 26, 2016

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Nation

‘We Three’ author dies in Beijing aged 104

CHINESE author and translator Yang Jiang died at the Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing yesterday. She was 104 and had been suffering from pneumonia.

Yang was a student at Tsinghua University in 1932 when she met the equally renowned author and scholar Qian Zhongshu. Shortly after they married in 1935, the pair went to Oxford University to further their studies. They returned to China in 1938, with 1-year-old Qian Yuan.

Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Yang is known for her essays, plays and translations.

She was the first to translate “Don Quixote” from Spanish to Chinese, and her version is widely considered definitive. Among her other translations are French writer Alain-Rene Lesage’s novel “Gil Blas,” Spanish novella “The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes and of His Fortunes and Adversities” and Plato’s “Phaedo,” a classic of Greek literature.

Yang wrote several plays and memoirs, the best known of which is the 2003 essay-style memoir “We Three,” documenting her family life with Qian, who died in 1998, one year after the passing away of their daughter, a professor at Beijing Normal University. Qian was 88. In the memoir, she describes home as the best asylum during their lifetime.

In a 1981 collection of essays, “A Cadre School Life: Six Chapters,” Yang wrote with a sense of poignancy about the daily lives of intellectuals during the “cultural revolution (1966-76),” when many teachers and scholars were forced into labor to “learn from the farmers.”

According to The Beijing News, citing the People’s Literature Publishing House, Yang didn’t want her death to be news until after she was cremated.

It said Yang had lived with a carer in a Beijing apartment given to her by the Chinese government.

Qian is best known for his novel “Fortress Besieged,” which describes marriage as a place people on the outside want to enter and those on the inside want to escape.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend