Terrence Cheng first came to national attention in 2002 with Sons of Heaven, a beautifully crafted debut novel that gave a face, a name, and a powerful story to the anonymous rebel of the Tiananmen Square massacres, one of the most famous -- and unknown -- heroes of our age.
Read the interview
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
March 27, 1972
Place of Birth:
B.A., Binghamton University, 1994; M.F.A., University of Miami, 1997
Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award, 2002; Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, 2007
Terrence Cheng's official web site
|Deep in the Mountains: An Encounter with Zhu Qizhan|
Chinese artist Zhu Qizhan was born in 1892 and lived to be 105 years old. During his life, he witnessed the Boxer Rebellion, the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the civil war between the Nationalists and the Communists, the Sino-Japanese War, Japan’s occupation of China during World War II, the Cultural Revolution...a full lifetime indeed, packed with struggle, love, conflict, and always, art. In 1992, when Deep in the Mountains begins, Zhu, the teller of tales, is 100 years old, still pushing himself to create, still experimenting with form and color. A lonely boy from the other side of the earth enters Zhu’s world. Through the artist’s stories of the past, the present, and the future, the boy learns who he is and what he can become in this beautiful, haunting story of growing up and accepting life’s challenges -- and its joys.
|Cheng's Reading List|
|The Things They Carried|
Cheng says The Things They Carried is the book that's had the most influence on him. "It’s about war to a degree, but really it’s a book about choices and decisions that we all face," he reflects. It is also a book that speaks to the value of truth, and the art and craft of writing itself. It is and always will be one of my favorite books of all time."
DeLillo's Libra also makes Cheng's list. "It is a masterwork of historical fiction and research that reads like a thriller and comes as close to answering the question “Who shot Kennedy” as you are ever going to get," he explains. "But it’s not just who shot Kennedy -- it’s how, it’s why, which may be even more essential."