Zhuge Liang, or Kong Ming, was a Chinese strategist of the Three Kingdoms Period. Legend has it that he had supernatural powers and had invented a number of things, such as a crossbow that shot multiple arrows. His habit of living in seclusion earned him the nickname The Hidden Dragon.
Liu Xiaobo was a Chinese activist, literary critic, and philosopher. He is best remembered for organizing campaigns that aimed at ending the one-party rule in China. He was honored with the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle for human rights in China. Liu is the first Chinese citizen to be honored with a Nobel Prize while residing in China.
Liu Cixin is a Chinese science fiction writer who has won the prestigious Galaxy Award on nine occasions so far. He is best known for his novel The Three-Body Problem, which earned him the Hugo Award in 2015. In 2017, Liu Cixin won the Locus Award for his work Death's End. Many of his works have been adapted into films.
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.
American Christian author Ruth Graham had met evangelist Billy Graham at Wheaton College, and they got soon after. Daughter of medical missionary parents, Ruth had grown up in China. She was an avid philanthropist and had raised her five children almost singlehandedly while Billy was mostly touring as an evangelist.
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.
J. G. Ballard was an English novelist, satirist, short story writer, and essayist. Renowned for his uniqueness, Ballard's style of fiction is referred to as Ballardian in the literary world. Many of his works have inspired movies, such as Crash and High-Rise. J. G. Ballard’s work has also inspired other popular writers like John Gray, Terry Dowling, and Lee Killough.
Yang Jiang was a Chinese author, translator, and playwright. Yang Jiang is credited with writing several successful comedies. A prolific translator, Yang was the first Chinese to come up with a proper Chinese version of Don Quixote. Her translation is considered the definitive translation of the popular novel in China.
Yue Fei was a Chinese military general best remembered for leading the Southern Song forces during the Jin–Song Wars in the 12th century. Fei is depicted in Jin Guliang's famous book Wu Shuang Pu and is widely regarded as a national folk hero in China.
Nobel Prize-winning Chinese author Mo Yan is best known for his novel Red Sorghum Family, which was later made into a film. His novel Big Breasts and Wide Hips was dragged into controversy for its sexual content, and the Communist Party made Yan withdraw the book from publication.
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.
Hurdler Liu Xiang created history by becoming the first Chinese Olympic gold medalist in any men’s track-and-field event. While he excelled in high jump in his younger days, he deviated to hurdles by 15. He has also earned gold medals at the world championships and the Asian Games.
Jin Yong was a Chinese wuxia novelist and essayist. He is credited with co-founding the popular Hong Kong publication Ming Pao, for which he served as the first editor-in-chief. Jin Yong is regarded as one of the most popular and greatest wuxia writers of all time. His works have been translated into several languages including Spanish, French, English, and Japanese.
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.
Shiing-Shen Chern was a Chinese-American poet and mathematician. He is best remembered for making significant contributions to topology and differential geometry. Referred to as the father of modern differential geometry, Shiing-Shen Chern is widely regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest mathematicians. He won several prestigious awards, such as the National Medal of Science, Wolf Prize, and Lobachevsky Medal.
Son of a Christian minister, Lin Yutang was initially supposed to join the ministry but later rejected Christianity to become a professor. His works include several Chinese and English books, such as Moment in Peking. He also introduced the concept of satire magazines in China with Lunyu banyuekan.
Fourth-century BC Chinese Legalist philosopher Shang Yang was largely responsible for the unification of the Chinese empire under the Qin dynasty. His policies as a statesman included compulsory military service and centralization of governors. He also encouraged people to spy on each other. He was brutally executed by Duke Xiao’s successor.
Chinese polymath Zhang Heng, or Chang Heng, was, at the same time, a mathematician, an astronomer, a geographer, a poet, a seismologist, an artist, and much more. His countless inventions include the world's first seismoscope. He documented over 2,000 stars and modified the Chinese calculations for pi.
Song dynasty Chinese philosopher and historian Zhu Xi propagated a revival of Confucianism against the popular trends of Buddhism and Taoism. He had cleared the civil services at 18 and had started his career as a registrar. He is remembered for editing the civil service texts The Four Books.
Gao Xingjian is a Chinese-born émigré and French naturalized playwright, novelist, critic, photographer, film director, translator, and painter. He is best known for winning the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature in 2000. Gao Xingjian has also received other major awards, including the Golden Plate Award from the American Academy of Achievement.
Chinese philosopher Han Fei is remembered for his iconic work Han Feizi, which is an ancient text containing Fei’s essays that reflect the Legalist tradition. It is believed he suffered from a speech defect, which encouraged him to write. King Zheng of Qin later adopted most of Fei’s philosophies.
Born to a Chinese father and a Belgian mother in China, Han Suyin initially studied medicine and also worked as a midwife. During her medical practice in Hong Kong, she was in a relationship with a married Australian war reporter, which was the basis of her iconic novel A Many-Splendoured Thing.
Shen Kuo was an eleventh century Chinese statesman and polymath, best remembered for authoring Mengxi bitan. Initially employed with central government, he had a successful career before he was banished on false charges, a move that allowed him to produce several scholarly books on mathematics, music, astronomy, calendars, cartography, geology, optics and medicine, out of which many were later purged.
Qian Zhongshu was a Chinese writer and literary scholar. Renowned for his wit and erudition, Qian is perhaps best remembered for his popular satirical novel, Fortress Besieged. Qian Zhongshu is also remembered for playing a key role in digitizing Chinese classics.
Luo Guanzhong was a Chinese writer who was active during the Ming Dynasty. He is often credited with authoring one of the Four Classic Chinese Novels, Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It is believed that the stories forming the novel were contributed by many independent storytellers. However, Luo Guanzhong is said to have brought it to its current form.
Su Song was a Chinese statesman and polymathic scientist. Best remembered for his contributions to various fields of study, Song was accomplished in astronomy, geography, cartography, mathematics, pharmacology, horology, mineralogy, botany, zoology, hydraulic engineering, mechanical engineering, poetry, art, philosophy, and statesmanship. Su Song is also remembered for his work on an astronomical clock tower, which implemented an early escapement mechanism.
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.
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.
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 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.
Yu Hua is a Chinese author whose big breakthrough came in 1987, thanks to his short story On the Road at Age Eighteen. Considered a promising avant-garde writer, Yu Hua is also regarded by many critics as a champion for Chinese postmodernist writing. His works, which have earned him several prestigious awards, have also been translated into numerous languages.
Wang Xizhi was a Chinese writer, calligrapher, and politician. Best remembered for his extraordinary skills as a calligrapher, Wang is regarded as the greatest calligrapher in the history of China. His works were greatly admired by Emperor Taizong of Tang, who helped popularize his poems. Apart from being a popular personality in China, Wang also remains influential in Japanese calligraphy.
Lao She was a Chinese dramatist and novelist. He is widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most significant figures of Chinese literature. Lao She is perhaps best remembered for his play Teahouse and his novel Rickshaw Boy. In addition to writing plays and novels, Lao also worked as a lecturer at educational institutions, including the University of London.
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.