MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of People



Xia Yan

Wade-giles spelling: Hsia Yen: Born Hang-chou, Chekiang province on 10 October 1900. Died in Beijing 2nd June 1995.

Joined the Chinese Communist Party in 1927 after completing his education in Japan. He helped create the Art Theatre in 1929, in 1930 became one of the leaders of the newly created League of Leftist Writers. Helped create the Dramatists League. Worked as a journalist during the revolutionary struggle against the Japanese occupation, but continued his creative endeavours.

Translated Gorky's novel Mother into Chinese. After 1932 he wrote and adapted countless plays, including Sai Chin-hua (1936), the story of a prostitute, his renown Shanghai wu-yen hsia (1937; Under Shanghai Eaves), in 1944 Fa-hsi-ssu hsi-chn ("The Fascist Bacillus").

In 1965 he was removed from the office of vice-minister of culture. He spent more than eight years in prison during the Cultural Revolution and was rehabilitated in 1978.