Shen Yanbing

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 Shen Yanbing textsDate
 How Do We Make the Women's Movement Truly Powerful?Jun 1920

SHEN YANBING (1896-1981) was a leading Chinese left-wing writer. His pen name was Mao Dun. A native of Zhejiang, he studied literature at Beijing University but had to drop out in 1916 when he ran out of money. He worked as an editor, writer, translator, and teacher and founded the Literary Research Society in 1920. He edited several journals, including Short Story Monthly and Women's Weekly. He joined Shanghai's Communist cell in 1921 and served on the faculties of the Common People's Girls' School and Shanghai University. He is known as a pioneer of socialist realism in Chinese fiction, and his trilogy Eclipse (published in 1930) and his novel Midnight (published in 1933) won him international acclaim. Left-wing critics attacked Eclipse for focusing too much on bourgeois psychology, but Shen Yanbing argued that writing about the middle class was not necessarily evidence that the author shared their values. His later writings, however, were more in line with Communist Party doctrine. His best-known pen name, Mao Dun, is a homonym for "contradiction." He held several important posts in the People's Republic of China, including head of the Writers' Association, minister of culture, and chief editor of People's Literature.