Ah Cheng

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Ah Cheng
Native name
BornZhong Acheng (锺阿城)
(1949-04-05) April 5, 1949 (age 74)
Beijing, China
Occupationauthor, screenwriter
GenreNovel, screenplay
Subject Xungen movement
Notable works The Chess Master
Notable awards Nonino (1992)

Zhong Acheng (simplified Chinese :钟阿城; traditional Chinese :鍾阿城; pinyin :Zhōng Āchéng; born 1949), often known by his pseudonym Ah Cheng, is a Chinese author and screenwriter. [1]



Ah Cheng's father, Zhong Dianfei, was in charge of the Chinese Communist Party's Propaganda Bureau. In 1956, as part of the Hundred Flowers campaign, he wrote an article criticizing political interference in films and was sent to the countryside. Ah Cheng had to sell his father's books to support the family, and read these Chinese and western classics before doing so. During the Cultural Revolution, Ah Cheng was also sent to the countryside, working in Shanxi, Inner Mongolia, and Yunnan, where he became a popular storyteller. [2]

In 1976, he returned to Beijing on leave and witnessed the Tiananmen Square protests against Zhou Enlai. His sketch of Zhou was published in the first issue of Jintian , an unofficial literary magazine founded by Bei Dao and others. [2]

In 1979, Ah Cheng and his wife moved to Beijing. Together with He Dong, Ma Desheng, Wang Keping, Huang Rui, Li Shuang, Qu Leilei and Ai Weiwei, Ah Cheng founded the Stars Group (XingXing), an assembly of untrained, experimental artists who challenged the strict tenets of Chinese politics. As a political and artistic group, they staged exhibitions around Beijing, making way for avant-garde art in China.

Ah Cheng also began writing stories about his life in Yunnan. One of these, "The Chess Master", was published in Shanghai Literature in July 1984. It was praised in Wen yi bao , the journal of the China Writers Association, that October, and won an award in December. "The King of Trees" was published in Chinese Writers in January 1985, and "The King of Children" later that year in People's Literature . Collections of his work were published in Hong Kong and Beijing that year, and in Taipei in 1986. [2]

Chen Kaige, another contributor to Jintian, adapted "The King of Children" into his third film, King of the Children (1988), and Ah Cheng began working as a screenwriter. [2]

Ah Cheng won the 1992 International Nonino Prize in Italy.



Novels and novellas


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  1. Peng Dingning (彭叮咛) (2022). 阿城:作家眼中的作家[Acheng: A Writer in the Eyes of Writers]. Culture and History Vision (in Chinese). Yuhua District, Changsha, Hunan: Integrated Media Center of the Hunan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. 630: 70–73. ISSN   1672-8653.
  2. 1 2 3 4 McDougall, Bonnie S. (1989). "Afterword". The King of Trees. New Directions Publishing.
  3. Open Library entry, accessed 28 December 2010.