Celebrated Hong Kong author Xi Xi dies aged 85


Hong Kong author Xi Xi, whose whimsical tales turned a defining portrait of a metropolis transitioning away from British rule, died on Sunday, in accordance with a writer she co-founded. She was 85.

One of essentially the most beloved names in Sinophone literature, she revealed greater than 30 books of fiction, poetry, non-fiction and screenplays in a profession spanning six many years.

She was typically credited with placing Hong Kong on the map within the literary world.

Xi Xi died of coronary heart failure at a Hong Kong hospital on Sunday morning surrounded by household and associates, writer Plain Leaves Workshop mentioned in a press release on Facebook.

It mentioned her life was “great, comfortable, in addition to helpful and significant”.

Her imaginative writing typically gave mundane occasions a fairytale twist and was an invite to “re-examine the world with contemporary eyes and childlike curiosity”, mentioned Jennifer Feeley, who translated a few of her works.

After China and Britain signed an settlement in 1984 on the switch of Hong Kong’s sovereignty, she famously described her house as a “floating metropolis” – reflecting the anxieties of residents dealing with a historic shift.

In 2019 she turned the primary Hong Kong author to win the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature, hosted by the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for US-China Issues.

Hong Kong’s tradition minister Kevin Yeung mourned her loss and mentioned Xi Xi “devoted her complete life to the creation of literary works, to the educating of youthful generations, in addition to cultivating expertise”.

Born Cheung Yin in Shanghai in 1937, she adopted the pen title Xi Xi and moved to colonial Hong Kong together with her household in 1950.

She revealed her breakthrough novel My City in 1975 depicting city life “from the vantage level of atypical residents, utilizing defamiliarisation and deceptively plain language”, mentioned Feeley.

Another acclaimed work, Mourning A Breast, was a semi-autobiographical account of her battle with breast most cancers within the late Nineteen Eighties, a topic hardly ever lined in Chinese-language literature as much as that time.

In a 2020 interview, Xi Xi mentioned she was shocked by the sight of younger individuals bloodied within the enormous and infrequently violent democracy protests that had swept Hong Kong within the previous months.

“Young individuals do not owe us something. Instead, it’s us who owe them an excellent society,” she instructed a neighborhood newspaper. – AFP

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