|‘Everlasting Sorrow’ author Wang Anyi earns further recognition
Nanjing-born contemporary author Wang Anyi, who gained global attention following the publication of a translated version of The Song of Everlasting Sorrow – a novel set in Shanghai, has been honoured by the French government.
Xinhua reported that the French ambassador to China Sylvie Bermann presented the knights badge of the Order of Arts and Letters to Wang (pictured) in Shanghai yesterday.
Wang's seminal work The Song of Everlasting Sorrow, was largely a tale of Wang Qiyao, a former Miss Shanghai who becomes the mistress of a Nationalist official named Li, told over a span of over a few turbulent decades in Shanghai from the 1940s. The character appeared to represent a typical young woman at the time.
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow was published 1995 and earned Wang the Mao Dun literary prize in 2000 awarded by Chinese Writers’ Association and named after novelist Mao Dun.
Wang was also recognized in Hong Kong when in 2012 her novel Scent of Heaven won the 4th Dream of the Red Chamber Award, presented by the Baptist University. This novel was also rooted in Shanghai.
The Song of Everlasting Sorrow was translated by Michael Berry and Susan Chan Egan.
One of Wang’s earliest works was The Rain Patters On, a short story that she published in 1980.
More recently, she was named a finalist in the 2011 Man Booker Prize for her work, An Era of Enlightenment.— Kapila Bandara