Writers from Countryside

Editor :Ye Shan
Source :Women of China English Monthly
Look! The couple busy working on the farm are my father and mother. They were both born in the countryside.


Zhang Xiaoying and her husband, Cai Yanwen, are farmers in Baojia, a village in Jiaohe, in Northeast China's Jilin Province. Both like to read and write. From 1985 to 1986, Zhang attended a writing workshop, during which she read Cai's works. She was attracted by his talent. They shared a common interest, and they gradually fell in love. During the past three decades, Zhang and Cai have read and written together almost every evening. They have encouraged residents in their village to read books, and to enrich their cultural lives. Zhang and Cai's family was named a National Most Beautiful Family in 2019.

My parents share an interest in literature. As a result of that shared interest, they fell in love.


They work together on the farm during the daytime. When night falls, they enjoy reading and writing in our warm home.


My mother likes writing poems. My father prefers to write novels and scripts for TV dramas. They are loyal readers to each other.


My younger brother and I began reading with our parents when we were kids.


My parents have established a reading room, and they have edited a newspaper for the villagers in our hometown.


They organize colorful events, such as fun sports games, literature workshops, reading and speech contests, and calligraphy and photography exhibitions, to enrich villagers' cultural lives.


My parents have encouraged villagers to pursue their dreams in the creation of literature.


A dozen villagers have had their works published in newspapers and/or magazines in our province.


My parents hope villagers can enjoy living in not only a beautiful environment, but also a profound cultural atmosphere.


(Women of China English Monthly December 2020 issue)

March 16, 2021