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1957 E St NW, Washington DC 20052


Join the Sigur Center for Asian Studies for a conversation with accomplished novelist and screenwriter Geling Yan 嚴歌苓. Born in Shanghai, she served with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) during the Cultural Revolution, starting at age twelve as a dancer in an entertainment troupe.

After more than a decade with the PLA, she published her first novel in 1986 and has been writing constantly ever since. Her best-known novels in English are The Secret TalkerLittle Aunt CraneThe Banquet BugThe Lost Daughter of Happiness, and White Snake and Other Stories. Many of her novels have been adapted for films and television series, including Youth (Feng Xiaogang), three films by Zhang Yimou (The Flowers of WarComing Home, and One Second), Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl (directed by Joan Chen), A City Called Macau (directed by Li Shaohong) and Siao Yu (directed by Sylvia Chang and produced by Ang Lee). Her novel The Lost Daughter of Happiness is being adapted into a musical, FUSONG, which was presented to the New York Citytheater community earlier this month and addresses anti-Asian racism, violence, and the transcendence of love.

In this talk, Ms. Yan will discuss her life, her works, censorship, and her latest book Milati, which was published in 2023. The story is about a young woman named Milati, a dancer tuned novelist, her cohort, and that of her artist father during the 1980s in China, when the country opened up, everything seemed possible, and they thought would go on forever. Selected copies of Ms. Yan’s works will be sold at the event.

Event Details

Online RSVPs will receive a Zoom link.