Chen Zhongshi

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Chen Zhongshi (陈忠实)

Chen Zhongshi (陈忠实), contemporary Chinese writer and vice chairman of the Chinese Writers Association, is known for his controversial novel, "White Deer Plain."

Chen was born in June 1942 in Xijiang Village, Baqiao District of Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. In September 1962, he graduated from No. 34 Middle School of Xi'an. He worked as a primary and a middle school teacher, the village Party secretary, and the director of district cultural center prior to 1979 when he joined the Chinese Writers Association. Aside from being the current vice chairman of the Chinese Writers Association, Chen is also the honorary chairman of the Shaanxi Provincial Writers Association.

Chen published his first essay, "Night in Liusha Valley," in early 1965. Since then he has published more than 40 works, including three volumes of "Self-selected Novels of Chen Zhongshi," seven volumes of "Collected Works of Chen Zhongshi" and a collected prose "Farewell to White Pigeons."

Chen is a recipient of many literary awards presented by authoritative magazines "The Contemporary," "People's Literature," "Great Wall," "Qiushi" and "Changjiang Literature and Art." Among his published works, "Trust" won the National Short Story Award in 1979, "Weibei Plateau – About A Man's Memory" won the National Reportage Award in 1990-1991, and "White Deer Plain" won the Fourth Mao Dun Literature Prize, China's top literature award, in 1997. "White Deer Plain" has sold more than 1.2 million copies since it was published in 1993. The novel tells the struggles of two rural families in east Xi'an for more than half a century before 1949. It has been adapted for a feature film directed by Wang Quan'an to compete for the Golden Bear Award in the 62nd Berlin Film Festival in February 2012.

In the First Rich List of Chinese Writers released on Dec. 15, 2006, Chen ranked 13th with 4.55 million yuan (US$722,800) of royalty income, which drew nationwide attention.

On April 29, 2016, Chen died at 73 in his hometown Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.