Li Bai was a Chinese poet whose works helped Chinese poetry flourish in the Tang dynasty. Acclaimed as a genius, Li is credited with popularizing traditional poetic forms. His poetry has been influential from his own time to the present day. Along with Zhang Xu's calligraphy and Pei Min's swordplay, Li's poetry is counted among the Three Wonders in china.
Lu Xun was a Chinese writer, poet, essayist, and literary critic. An important and influential personality of modern Chinese literature, Lu Xun's work influenced Chinese literature and popular culture after the May Fourth Movement. Mao Zedong, a lifelong admirer of Lu's work, declared him the saint of modern China shortly after his death. His works have been translated into English.
Du Fu was a Chinese politician and poet. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Chinese poets of all time, Du Fu's works have influenced both Japanese and Chinese literary culture. While it is said that almost all Chinese poets have been influenced by him, the Japanese literature from the Muromachi period was greatly impacted by Du Fu's poetry.
Su Shi was a Chinese writer, calligrapher, poet, painter, gastronome, pharmacologist, and politician who lived during the Song dynasty. He played a major role in the political affairs of the Song dynasty. He is credited with producing some of the best-known poems, prose, and essays and is considered one of the most decorated personalities in classical Chinese literature.
Mervyn Peake was an English writer, poet, artist, and illustrator. He is best remembered for writing a series of fantasy books, which are collectively referred to as Gormenghast. Although his work as an illustrator and painter did not gain popularity during his lifetime, Mervyn Peake's drawings are highly respected by his friends and peers.
Chinese Tang dynasty emperor Xuanzong took over the reins of his kingdom after his father, Ruizong, abdicated. However, his sister made sure Ruizong stayed as a regent. Xuanzong developed the canal system and finances of his empire initially but later relied too much on his court officials, leading to a rebellion.
Cao Xueqin was a Chinese writer who was active during the Qing dynasty. Cao is best remembered for authoring one of the Four Classic Chinese Novels, Dream of the Red Chamber. Although he garnered no or little fame during his lifetime, Cao Xueqin achieved posthumous fame and his works continue to influence new generations of Chinese poets and novelists.
Ha Jin is a Chinese-American novelist and poet. His works have been honored with several prestigious awards like the National Book Award for Fiction, Pushcart Prizes, and the PEN/Faulkner Award. In addition to writing award-winning novels and poems, Ha Jin also teaches at Boston University.
Wang Wei was a Chinese poet, painter, musician, and politician who lived during the Tang dynasty. Widely regarded as one of the most popular poets of his generation, Wang Wei had a profound influence in the West. Many of his works are well-preserved and 29 of his poems were included in an influential anthology titled Three Hundred Tang Poems.
Wu Cheng'en was a Chinese poet, novelist, and politician who was active during the Ming Dynasty. He is often credited with authoring a Classic Chinese Novel titled Journey to the West. Wu Cheng'en's possible composition of the famous novel is his main claim to fame, although he also wrote numerous stories and poems, most of which have been lost.
Wang Anshi was a Chinese author and political reformer who implemented the New Laws. After clearing his civil services examination, he worked as an administrator for 2 decades. He later served as the Chancellor of Song Dynasty and initiated reforms against nepotism and private monopolies in the country.
Chinese archaeologist and scholar Guo Moruo left his Chinese wife and moved to Japan, where he studied medicine and met his second wife. Noted for works such as Nü shen, he was targeted during the Cultural Revolution and said his works should be burned for failing to understand Mao.
Tian Han was a Chinese playwright, activist, translator, poet, and leader of revolutionary films and music. He is often counted among the three founders of Chinese spoken drama along with Hong Shen and Ouyang Yuqian. Tian Han is best remembered for writing the March of the Volunteers, which was later adopted as the Chinese national anthem.
Song dynasty scholar Fan Zhongyan rose up to be the kingdom’s chancellor and fought against corruption. He is known for his iconic saying “Be the first to care for the nation’s fate and the last to enjoy its comforts.” Though he owned a profitable farm, he spent a lot on charity.
Bing Xin was an author who is widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prolific Chinese women writers. Bing Xin, who wrote mainly for young readers, is credited with making immense contribution to the development of Chinese children's literature. Bing Xin also taught at the University of Tokyo.
Best known for compiling the iconic Han shu, or the Book of Han, Ban Gu is regarded as one of China’s most significant historians. Son of prominent historian Ban Biao, Gu came to be known for his simple prose style, which was later called the Han style.
Li Shangyin was one of the most controversial Chinese poets because of his use of political satire, allegory, and imagery. The Tang dynasty poet is remembered for his unique “no title” poems, one of which, now known as Jin Se, consisted of 56 characters and various images.
Tang dynasty poet Liu Zongyuan is remembered as one of the founders of the Classical Prose Movement, which laid stress on clarity rather than the artificial pianwen style that had been promoted by previous Chinese writers. He is one of the “Eight Masters of Tang and Song.”
Chinese author Sima Xiangru was a significant name during the Western Han dynasty and is mostly remembered for his unique form of descriptive poetry, fu. He was also an exceptional fencer and initially served as a bodyguard to Han emperor Jingdi. He also experimented with the Chu ci and yuefu styles.
Tang dynasty author and politician Yuan Zhen, who penned the iconic work Yingying's Biography, is remembered for his use of the guwen, or the ancient Chinese prose style. Part of the literary circle that included legendary poet Bai Juyi, he viewed literature as a way to improve society.
Han dynasty poet and philosopher Yang Xiong is remembered for popularizing the fu form of poetry. His philosophical works, such as Fayan and Taixuanjing, showcase his interest in Confucianism and Daoism. Wang Mang spared his life during the siege of Chang’an, as Yang wasn’t interested in politics.