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Gao Xingjian’s life and work
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Gao Xingjian
Gao  Xingjian
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Biography of Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian was the first Chinese recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000. Born in 1940 in Jiangxi province in eastern China, he earned a university degree in French at Beijing, and decided to become a writer. Choosing exile in 1987, he settled in Paris, where he completed The Soul Mountain two years later. He is a playwright and painter as well as a fiction writer and critic. At the time of his first successes as a playwright, Gao was falsely diagnosed with lung cancer. The narrator of The Soul Mountain shares these circumstances with the author as he leaves Beijing to explore various rural regions of China. Ostensibly undertaken to collect folk songs and legends, the trip is a means of reconnecting with traditional China, particularly Taoism and shamanism, beyond the Cultural Revolution. His article, “Namo Amitofu,” can be found in the World Wisdom anthology, Pray Without Ceasing .

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