- Eastern Asia
(novelist; China b. 1960, Hangzhou) published his first book in 1984, Shibasui Chumen Yuanxing (Leaving Home at Eighteen) which was followed by several more novels and collections of short stories and essays, most notably, Huo Zhe (To Live), made into a film by renowned director Zhang Yimou, winning the Grand Jury Prize and Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994. Trained as a dentist, Yu Hua left the profession after five years to become a writer. His works have been translated into numerous languages; To Live (Random House, trans. Michael Berry) appeared in English in 2003, followed by Chronicle of a Blood Merchant (Pantheon, trans. Andrew F. Jones) also in 2003. Considered avant-garde and controversial, his fictions place him in the forefront of China's literary scene. He will be participating courtesy of The University of Iowa Chinese Community.