As a writer, Yan Geling is known as one of the best Chinese immigrant writers in the United States. Born in Shanghai, she was brought up in an artist’s family and joined the Army at the age of 13. In 1986, Yan became a member of the China Writer Association. She began to publish novels in her twenties with her first novel "The Green Blood". In 1989，she went to the US and began to contribute several articles and excerpts to Hong Kong’s newspapers and periodicals . The movie "Siao Yu" which was adapted from the same of title of her work, won 6 prizes at Asia-Pacific Movie Festivals. The movie “Xiu Xiu—The Sent Down Girl” which was adapted from her novel--"Celestial Bath", won her Golden Horse Awards in Taiwan. Her internationally acclaimed work "Fu Sang", also known as "the lost daughter of happiness" is considered her magnum opus. She is also a screenwriter, and has collaborated with her famous friend Joan Chen on movies and plays. In May 2002, she became a member of the Hollywood Screenwriter Association.
In the Up-Close studio, Yan Geling shared her three breakthroughs in life with the studio audience. The first breakthrough was when she started studying English at the age of 30 and went to the US to further her study, even though she was already an accomplished Chinese writer. Her second breakthrough was when she became a screenwriter in Hollywood, writing scripts in English. Her third breakthrough is writing English novels. In her view, a meaningful life should be full of breakthroughs. It seems the “edge faces” are Yan Geling’s favorites. The handicapped, the prostitute, the homosexual and the fake marriage couple have all been tried as leading roles in her novels. Do you know why she chose these “grey characters” as her main roles? Join us on Up-Close to hear Yan Geling’s philosophical answer.--Written by Zhang Yao