Tsinghua University News

Tsinghua Alumna and Celebrated Chinese writer Yang Jiang dies at 105

Tsinghua Alumna and Celebrated Chinese writer Yang Jiang dies at 105


Well-known Chinese writer, literary translator and foreign literature researcher Yang Jiang died at the age of 105 in Beijing on Wednesday morning. On the evening of May 25th, groups of Tsinghua students gathered in front of the old library to express their mourning of the pass of Yang Jiang.

Yang, the wife of late Chinese novelist Qian Zhongshu, enjoyed decades of fame across the country for her literature works such as Six Chapters from My Life 'Downunder' (1981), Baptism (1988), and We Three (2004), which recalls her husband and her daughter Qian Yuan (1937–1997), who died of cancer one year before her father's death. Her translation of the Spanish novel Don Quixote de la Mancha is widely considered the best Chinese version.

Yang Jiang, whose original name was Yang Ji Kang, was born in Beijing and grew up in Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu province. She got her master's degree in foreign languages and literature at Tsinghua University, where she met her husband Qian Zhongshu, whose later work, the satirical novel Fortress Besieged is famous around the world.

The couple married in 1935 and during 1935–1938, they went to Oxford and University of London for further study. They returned to China in 1938 and both of them went into academia and made important contributions to the development of Chinese culture.

Yang and Qian were known having the perfect love story in Chinese literary circles. Qian once commented that Yang was 'the most virtuous wife and most talented lady'. Apart from her own achievements in literature, she made a great contribution to Qian's works after his death. More than 70,000 letters and drafts by her husband were collected by her for the publication Qian Zhong Shu's Manuscript Collection in 2003.

Yang loved reading and encouraged the younger generation to read more books. She made a donation and set up the 'Love Reading' scholarship at Tsinghua in the name of her family after her husband and daughter passed away.