Famous Writer, Translator Yang Jiang Dies, Aged 105

May 25, 2016
Editor: Eileen Cheng
Famous Writer, Translator Yang Jiang Dies, Aged 105

Yang Jiang at her home in 2012 [thepaper.cn]


China's highly-respected translator and writer Yang Jiang passed away on May 25 in Beijing, aged 105.

According to a dying wish, her obituary will only be released after she has been cremated.

Yang graduated from Dongwu University in Suzhou, eastern China's Jiangsu Province, in 1932. She married Qian Zhongshu (1910-1998), a famous literary researcher and writer in 1935, and started overseas study in the UK and France the same year.

After returning to China in 1938, Yang taught at Shanghai Fudan Liberal Arts College and Tsinghua University. From 1949, she worked at the Institute of Literature, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and the CASS Institute of Foreign Literature.

Yang's main works of literature include Bathing and Six Pieces of Cadre School. In 2003, she published a memoir of her three-member-family's frustrated life, We Three. At the age of 96, she released Walk to the Edge of Life. In 2014, The Complete Yang Jiang was published, a compilation consisting of over 2.7 million words.

In addition, Yang finished a translation of Don Quixote while suffering much social turmoil in the 60s, making her the first Chinese person to produce a complete Chinese version from the Spanish original. Her translation has since been printed over a million times, and has been presented as national gifts to visiting leaders of other countries.

Other works translated by Yang include Lazarillo del Tormes and La Celestina.

After her daughter and husband passed away in 1997 and 1998, respectively, Yang refused to give in to grief. She collected all of the letters and scripts of Qian, fulfilling the last wish of her family.

In 2001, Yang donated royalties from books written by Qian and herself worth 10 million yuan (U.S.$ 1.5 million), to set up a scholarship fund to help students in poor economic situations.

(Source: thepaper.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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