Renowned Chinese writer Yang Jiang dies at age 104

AP News
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Posted: May 25, 2016 7:15 AM

BEIJING (AP) — Renowned Chinese writer Yang Jiang, known for her prolific output and marriage to an equally famous author, died Wednesday at age 104, state media said.

Yang died at Peking Union Medical College Hospital in Beijing, according to The Paper, a state-owned news website. It said her death had been confirmed by her publisher, the People's Literature Publishing House.

Citing different sources, Hong Kong station Phoenix TV also confirmed Yang's death, the cause of which was not given.

Born in 1911, Yang became a household name in China for her novels, plays, essays and translated works. She was the first to translate "Don Quixote" into Chinese, and her version is still considered the definitive one by many.

Her death was the top search term on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo on Wednesday, a testimony to her fame and the public adoration she enjoyed.

In a 1981 collection of essays, Yang wrote with a sense of poignancy on the daily lives of Chinese intellectuals during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, when scholars and intellectuals were forced to perform hard labor.

Her 2003 essay collection "We Three," about her family life with her late husband and their daughter, was a best-seller.

Yang was married to Qian Zhongshu, best known for his novel "Fortress Besieged," and theirs was widely seen as a model union set against the background of China's turbulent 20th century.

After Qian's death in 1998, Yang embarked on the task of compiling and editing her husband's unpublished works and remained prolific herself.

In addition to "We Three," she published a sequel to her novel "Baptism" at age 103.