Su Tong
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Su Tong

Su Tong person, CBDB = 99223

person, CBDB = 99223
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Su Tong (simplified Chinese: 苏童; traditional Chinese: 蘇童; pinyin: Sū Tóng; born January 23, 1963) is the pen name of Chinese writer Tong Zhonggui (童忠贵; Tóng Zhōngguì). He was born in Suzhou and lives in Nanjing.

He entered the Department of Chinese at Beijing Normal University in 1980, and started to publish novels in 1983. He is now vice president of the Jiangsu Writers Association. Known for his controversial writing style, Su is one of the most acclaimed novelists in China.


Su has written seven full-length novels and over 200 short stories, some of which have been translated into English, German, Italian and French.

He is best known in the West for his book Wives and Concubines, published in 1990. The book was adapted into the film, Raise the Red Lantern by director Zhang Yimou. The book has since been published under the name given to the film. His other works available in English translation are Rice, My Life as Emperor, Binu and the Great Wall (tr. Howard Goldblatt), Madwoman on the Bridge and Other Stories, Tattoo: Three Novellas and The Boat to Redemption, also translated by Goldblatt.

His novel Petulia's Rouge Tin (Hongfen in Chinese), about two Shanghai prostitutes at the time of Liberation in 1949, has been adapted to two films: Li Shaohong's Blush (Hongfen, 1994) and Huang Shuqin's Rouged Beauties (Hongfen Jiaren, 1995).

In 2009, he was awarded the Man Asian Literary Prize for his work The Boat to Redemption, the second Chinese writer to win the prize.

In 2011, Su Tong was nominated to win the Man Booker International Prize. In 2015, he was a co-winner of the Mao Dun Literature Prize for Yellowbird Story.

Selected works in translation

  • Petulia's Rouge Tin. Translators Jane Weizhen Pan and Martin Merz. Penguin Specials. 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Tattoo: Three Novellas. Translator Josh Stenberg. Portland, Me.: MerwinAsia. 2010. ISBN 9780552774543.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • The Boat to Redemption. Translator Howard Goldblatt. London: Black Swan. July 2010. ISBN 9780552774543.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Binu and the Great Wall of China. Translator Howard Goldblatt. Edinburgh: Canongate Books. August 2009.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Madwoman on the Bridge. Translator Josh Stenberg. London: Black Swan. August 2008. ISBN 9780552774529.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • My Life as Emperor. Translator Howard Goldblatt. Hyperion East. 2005.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Rice. Translator Howard Goldblatt. New York: Perennial. 2004. ISBN 0060596325.CS1 maint: others (link)
  • Raise the Red Lantern: Three Novellas. Translator Michael S. Duke. New York: Penguin Books. 1996. ISBN 0140260307.CS1 maint: others (link)
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