Yang Jiang, Chinese playwright, author and translator, Died at 104

Yang Jiang was born on July 17, 1911, and died on May 25, 2016.

Her birth name was Yang Jikang .

She was a Chinese playwright, author, and translator.

Jiang has written several successful comedies and was the first Chinese person to produce a complete Chinese version of Miguel de Cervantes Spanish novel, Don Quixote.

In 1932, after graduating from Soochow University, Yang enrolled in the graduate school of Tsinghua University where she met her husband Qian Zhongshu.

Together they went abroad to England for further study at Oxford University (1935–1938)and University of London.

During that time, Yang gave birth to their daughter Qian Yuan (錢瑗).

The couple later studied at Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris, France.

After completing their studies, they both returned to China in 1938.

They settled in Shanghai, Yang wrote plays in the “anti-romantic” style: As You Wish (1944), Taking True for False (1945) and Quilts in the Wind (1947).

Following the year 1949, Yang taught at the Tsinghua University and made a scholarly study of western literature at the University of Beijing and the Academy of Science.

Yang Jiang published this work in 1979 in a compendium: Spring Mud.

Together Yang and Qian went into academics and made important contributions to the development of Chinese literary culture.

Yang Jiang went on to translate more European works into Chinese: Lazarillo de Tormes (1951), Gil Blas (1956) and Don Quixote (1978).

Yang Jiang Chinese translation of Don Quixote is, as of 2016, still considered the definitive version.

Jiang was also awarded the Civil Order of Alfonso X, the Wise for this by King Juan Carlos in October 1986.

Yang Jiang sister Yang Bi (楊必) (1922-1968) was also a translator.

Yang published her only novel Baptism (洗澡), in 1988 which was always connected with Fortress Besieged (圍城), a masterpiece of her husband.

Yang Jiang 2003 memoir We Three (我們仨), recalled memories of her husband and her daughter Qian Yuan, who died of cancer one year before her father’s death in 1998.

At age 96, Yang published Reaching the Brink of Life (走到人生邊上), a philosophic work whose title in Chinese clearly alludes to her late husband’s collection of essays Marginalia to Life (寫在人生邊上).

Yang Jiang passed away at 104 yrs old.