Chen Zhongshi was born in 1942 in the Baqiao district of Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province. He began writing in 1965. Since 1979, when he joined the Chinese Writers Association, he has published nine novellas, over eighty short stories, and more than fifty pieces of reportage, prose, and essays. He has published collections of short stories, including The Village and Going Back to the Old Poplar; literary criticism collected as My Creation Experience; a collection of essays; and several collections of novellas and novels, including Early Summer and Fourth Younger Sister.
Chen Zhongshi’s short story “Trust” was awarded the National Outstanding Works prize in 1979. In the years since, his novels and other works have won many awards, including the Contemporary Literature Prize, the National Reportage Prize, the Shaanxi Double-Five Literature Prize, and the Mao Dun Literature Award. His piece “A Willow on Qinghai Plateau” was included in one of China’s primary literature textbooks.
Jia Pingwa, a prominent and celebrated writer and essayist, was born in 1952 into a farming family in Danfeng County, Shaanxi Province. He began to write while studying in the Chinese department of Northwest University in Xi’an. Jia Pingwa first achieved fame in the 1970s and 1980s with his award-winning short stories and novellas, the majority of which are set in Jia’s rural homeland in Shangzhou Prefecture. After Jia graduated in 1976, he worked as an editor at the Shaanxi People’s Publishing House. Since then he has become a full-time writer.
Jia is known for his realistic depiction of the culture and life of Shaanxi Province. His writing often focuses on peasant life during China’s reforms and urbanization since 1978. He is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), president of the Shaanxi Writers Association, deputy to the People’s Congress of Xi’an, and president of the Writers Association of Xi’an.
Jia is a tenacious and prolific writer. His works include The Collected Award-Winning Novellas of Jia Pingwa; The Collected Works of Jia Pingwa; the novels Shang Zhou, White Nights, Earth Gate, Old Gao Village, Remembering Wolves, Happy; and the autobiographical novel I Am a Farmer.
His December and January was awarded the best novel of the Third National Novellas. His story “Full Moon” won the National Short Story Award, and the Prix Femina Prize went to Abandoned Capital. Turbulence won the Pegasus Prize for Literature as well as the French Arts and Literature Prize. In November 2008, Jia Pingwa won the Mao Dun Literary Prize for his twelfth novel, Shaanxi Opera.