WHEN Qiu Xiaolong reflects on his life, the path has an air almost of inevitability.
The arc includes an inquisitive childhood in Shanghai during the Cultural Revolution; studying poetry in Beijing, where he translated the complete works of T. S. Eliot; traveling in the early days of d√©tente to the United States, where he eventually became a professor; and finally his status today as perhaps the most successful author of detective stories set in China…
Chinese? Yes, since leaving the country at the age of 35 in 1988 on a Ford Foundation fellowship, Mr. Qiu has written in English instead of his native language. The choice, which today sometimes displeases Chinese authorities, he said, has been forced upon him by circumstances in his own country ” from the bloody antidemocracy crackdown at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989, to the many restrictions on speech, especially anything construed as political speech, that have followed. [Full Text]
(Photo of Qiu Xiaolong)