Chinese Literature and the Writings of Exile

ADI and China Studies at the Dept. of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies are pleased to invite you to a lecture by Chinese writer Ma Jian.


MA JIAN was born in Qingdao, China in 1953. He worked as a watch mender’s apprentice, a painter of propaganda boards, and a publicity photographer for a petrochemical plant, before he was assigned the job of photojournalist for a state-run magazine. At the age of thirty, he was targeted in a government campaign against ‘spiritual pollution.’ He gave up this job and travelled for three years across China—a journey described in his book Red Dust, winner of the 2002 Thomas Cook Award for Travel Writing. After the government banned his books in China in 1987, he moved to Hong Kong, and then ten years later to London, where he now lives.

He has written nine books (including novels and collections of short stories and essays) and has been published in twelve languages. The Noodle Maker, a dark humorous satire of post-Tiananmen China, was published in English in 2004. In the same year, he was awarded one of the 50 most important writers in the world by French literary magazine Lire. Stick Out Your Tongue, a novella based on his travels in Tibet, was published in English in 2006. Beijing Coma was published in English in 2008, winner of the T. R. Fyvel Index on Censorship Award 2009 and shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Beijing Coma has been translated into twenty languages for global publishing.