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Gao Xingjian Biography | Author of The Other Shore

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Gao Xingjian (pronounced gow shing-yan) was born January 4, 1940 in Ganzhou of Jiangxi province in eastern China. The son of a bank official and amateur actress, Xingjian grew up in a creative environment and became an avid reader, painter, and writer at an early age. He was schooled at the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute from 1957 to 1962 where he studied French literature. His mother was relocated to the countryside by the government in the early 1960s—as he was later—where she died in a drowning accident. The details surrounding her death are largely unknown. During the Cultural Revolution (1966—1976), Xingjian was sent to a reeducation camp and was not able to publish any of his work until 1979. It was during this time that he also destroyed several of his manuscripts out of fear of recrimination by the authorities.

During a seven-year period beginning in 1980, Xingjian wrote prolifically for Chinese...

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This section contains 448 words
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Buy The Other Shore Study Guide
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The Other Shore from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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