Yang Jiang Biography

(Chinese Playwright and Translator Who Wrote Several Successful Comedies)

Birthday: July 17, 1911 (Cancer)

Born In: Beijing, China

Yang Jiang was a Chinese playwright, translator, and author. She was the first Chinese academic to translate Miguel de Cervantes' Spanish novel ‘Don Quixote’ to Chinese. Born in Beijing to a rich and educated family in 1911, she graduated from Soochow University. She later attended the graduate school of Tsinghua University where she met her future husband and equally acclaimed author Qian Zhongshu. Regarded as a model couple of that time, the two went abroad after marriage to study at Oxford University in England, and later at Pantheon-Sorbonne University in France. Besides her translation work, Jiang also authored many plays, novels, and essays during her writing career. She was awarded the Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise by King Juan Carlos in 1986 for producing the Chinese version of ‘Don Quixote.’ On the personal front, she was happily married and had a daughter. Jiang died in 2016, at the age of 104.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Yang Chiang


Spouse/Ex-: Qian Zhongshu (m. 1935)

father: Yang Yinhang

mother: Tang Xuying

siblings: Yang Bi

children: Qian Yuan

Born Country: China

Playwrights Chinese Female

Died on: May 25, 2016

place of death: Beijing, China

Notable Alumni: Soochow University, Tsinghua University

Grouping of People: Centenarian

City: Beijing, China

More Facts

education: The University of Oxford, Tsinghua University, University Of Paris, Soochow University

Yang Jiang initially wrote two comedies of manners titled ‘Heart's Desire’ and ‘Forging the Truth’ which were published in 1943 and 1944, respectively. She followed this with the farce titled ‘Sporting with the World’ and the tragedy ‘Windswept Blossoms,’ both of which were released in 1947. She then began working as a translator and translated the European work of picaresque fiction ‘Lazarillo de Tormes’ into Chinese in 1951. This was followed by another one titled ‘Gil Blas’ in 1956.
In 1978, Jiang published the Chinese translation of Miguel de Cervantes' Spanish novel ‘Don Quixote.’ It emerged as the definitive translation of the novel in China and earned her ‘The Civil Order of Alfonso X the Wise’ by King Juan Carlos in 1986. During the early 1980s, she earned recognition as a writer for the essay ‘Six Chapters from My Life 'Downunder.’ Then in 1983, the writer wrote ‘Soon to Have Tea’. Four years later, she came up with ‘About to Drink Tea’.
In 1988, Jiang published her only novel called ‘Baptism’ which was strongly connected with her husband’s masterpiece ‘Fortress Besieged.’ In 2003, she released a memoir titled ‘We Three’ that recalled memories of her family life and focused on her daughter Qian Yuan who had died of cancer in 1997. In 2007, Jiang published ‘Reaching the Brink of Life’, a philosophic work which turned out to be national bestseller. Her novella ‘After the Baptism’ appeared in 2014.
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Family & Personal Life
Yang Jiang was born on 17 July 1911, in Beijing, China, to Yinhang Yang and Tang Xuying. She had a sister named Yang Bi who was also a translator.
After graduating from Soochow University in 1932, Jiang attended Tsinghua University where she met Qian Zhongshu, her future husband. During 1935-38, the couple studied at Oxford University in England. They attended Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris later on. Jiang also studied at Peking University and the Academy of Science.
Taking about her love life, she married Zhongshu in 1935. Their daughter Qian Yuan was born two years later. Qian died of cancer in 1997. Zhongshu passed away a year later. On 25 May 2016, Jiang died at Beijing’s Peking Union Medical College Hospital. She was 104.

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