Chinese Women through Chinese Eyes

By Li Yu-Ning | Go to book overview

12
The Family Prison

Hsieh Ping-ying

THOUGH known primarily as a writer, Hsieh Ping-ying ( 1906-) has also had successful careers in journalism and university teaching and represents in many ways the courage and independent spirit of the new Chinese woman in the twentieth century. In her youth she was a rebel; she refused to bind her feet, was expelled from school for organizing demonstrations against Japanese imperialism, joined the National Revolutionary Army during the Northern Expedition against the warlords, fled an arranged marriage to pursue her own career and find free love, and was arrested in both China and Japan (where she was studying) for political activities. During the Sino-Japanese War she organized the Hunan Women's Battlefront Corps, which worked with the wounded at the front. From 1940 Hsieh alternated between editorial work at several newspapers and teaching. She was a professor of Chinese literature at Taiwan Normal University from 1948 to her retirement in 1971. During this period she collaborated in translating the Confucian Four Books and the best-known anthology of classical prose masterpieces, Ku-wen kuan-chih, into modern colloquial Chinese.

Hsieh's writing career spans over half a century, and her works continue to be widely read. Her first book, Ts'ung-chün jih-chi (War diary), published simultaneously with an English translation by Lin Yü-t'ang (see chapter 3) in 1928, is in its nineteenth printing, and her best-known work, I-ko nü-ping te tzu-chuan (Autobiography of a woman soldier, first published in 1936) is in its twenty-fifth printing. The latter, translated into English (along with excerpts from her war diaries) as Girl Rebel, was published in the United States in 1940 and has recently been reprinted by Da

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