Bestselling author Cao Wenxuan was born in January 1954 in the rural area of Yancheng. He studied at Peking University and is now a professor and Ph.D. supervisor of Chinese literature there.
Many of his novels and short stories have been translated into English, French, Japanese, Korean, and other languages. His books have won more than 40 national and international awards. He won the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award for what is probably his most well-known book outside China, Bronze and Sunflower.
IPR: As a child did you always have a love of reading? And when did you first start writing?
Cao Wenxuan: I liked playing when I was a child, playing in the field, never tired. I began to like reading when I was in the fifth grade. At that time, there were not many books to read. Fortunately, my father was a headmaster of a primary school, and he had two bookcases of books. Some of the Chinese classics, especially the special edition books written by Lu Xun, influenced my life. The real creative work began after I graduated from high school.
IPR: You have received many prizes over the years for your writing. In 2016, you were announced as the winner of the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award. How has receiving this award affected your career as an author?
CW: As a writer I have received almost all the awards in China, and have been jokingly called “The Prizes Holder”. Winning the Hans Christian Andersen Award didn’t actually have a great impact on my literature creation because my literature concept is quite rigid, and is not easy to change. One difference is that I am busier than before, and I am now having to learn to say no to some requests. As writers, what we need to do is write—nothing is more important than writing.
IPR: What are you currently writing and when will it be published? Are you able to tell us?
CW: I am writing a novella called Straw Sandal Bay. It is a story about a private detective and his son, and it takes place in 1940s Shanghai. I haven’t written a story like this before. It will be published in May.
Visit iprlicense.com to see Cao Wenxuan’s books with rights available.