Bing Xin, whose real given name is Xie Wanying, is one of
the most prolific and esteemed Chinese writers of the 20th Century, as much
beloved as the male literary giants of her time.
A native of Fuzhou,
Province, Bing Xin finished her higher
education at Yanjing University in Peking, where she graduated with a degree
in literature. Later, she went to the United States for further education in
Wellesley College, where she gained an MA in English Literature. She returned to
China in 1926 and taught at Yanjing University, Qinghua University and Peking
Women's Wenli College thereafter. She also spent a year in Tokyo (1949-1950) as
a visit scholar.
Bing Xin began writing during the May Fourth Movement and published her first
piece of writing in 1919 in Chenbao (Morning Paper).
That year also marked the beginning of her literary career that were to span a
century. From the 1920s to the 1990s, Bing Xin had many works of prose and
poetry, as well as translations, published during her lifetime.
Early works of Bing Xin (1900-1999), also known as Xie Wanying, advocated
"the philosophy of love" and expressed a strong individualism.
She was deft at constructing gentle, beautiful, and
visionary concepts in her writings. Works of this kind are found in her
collections Past Events and To My Young Readers. The prose pieces in Past Events
are mostly reminiscences. To My Young Readers documented her life and thoughts
in foreign countries for young Chinese readers in the form of correspondences.
Works in both collections express the author's inner feelings and praise of
nature and motherhood through descriptions of past and current events. These
works are in fact lyrical prose. Bing Xin's prose is written in exquisite and
beautiful language with a vibrant tone. Her works are both flowing and concise.
Bing Xin's prose published after 1949 include the collections An
Orange-peel Lamp, Shi Sui Xiao Zha -- A Collection of Bing Xin's Prose, and
To My Young Readers III . Among these prose works, "An Orange-peel
Lamp," "We Have No Winter," and "Cherry Blossoms and Friendship" are the most representative pieces. These
works maintain her usual fresh and beautiful artistic style but replace misty
and melancholy sentiments with a bright and optimistic tone. Some of Bing Xin's
short writings published in recent years are emotionally inspiring and much
loved by readers.