Daily Free Books

Mu Xin: The Literary Odyssey

by Joanne Wang

Mu Xin (1927-2011) is the pen name of a renowned Chinese writer and artist. Born in Wuzhen, near Shanghai, China, into a wealthy aristocratic family, Mu Xin was among those in the last generation to receive a classical education in the literati tradition, while at the same time he was also exposed through voluminous reading to the highest achievements of Western art and culture at a very young age. From 1947 to 1949, Mu Xin attended Shanghai Institute of the Arts. From 1949 to 1982, Mu Xin lived in China. Although he wrote profusely in that period, all of his earlier manuscripts were confiscated and destroyed during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). In 1982 after coming to live in the US, Mu Xin began to publish books of short stories, prose, and poetry (in Chinese) and contributed regularly to literary columns in Chinese journals and newspapers outside the PRC. Among the Chinese diaspora, Mu Xin's works have attracted an intense following. Few Chinese writers in modern history possess a mastery of the Chinese cultural and linguistic heritage as firm as that of Mu Xin. Innovatively combining fiction, sanwen (a Chinese genre which blends characteristics of the essay, fiction, and poetry), and philosophical reflections, Mu Xin's writing is both profoundly Chinese and reminiscent of the internalization and unconventionality of Western modern masters. In addition to his literary accomplishments, Mu Xin was also a well recognized artist whose paintings are preserved in, among other places, the Yale University and Harvard University Art Galleries, and now in the upcoming Mu Xin Museum in his hometown Wuzhen.
In 2006, Mu Xin returned to China at the invitation of Wuzhen Township, where the local government had renovated his family house. The same year, his writings were published for the first time in Mainland China.
A selection of Mu Xin's prose fiction, An Empty Room, was published in English by New Directions Publishing in 2011.
Included in this collection are extremely rare interviews Mu Xin conducted while living in New York, and articles written by those who knew Mu Xin personally for more than a decade, and others who know him through his writings and art.

Genre: Arts & Photography, Art, Biography & True Accounts, Arts & Literature, Professionals & Academics, Nonfiction
Size: 72 pages
Free download for Kindle from 08 February 2020 onward  

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