Gao Xingjian is the first Chinese recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He was born in 1940 in Jiangxi province in eastern China, and has lived in France since 1987. Gao Xingjian is that rare artist who excels as novelist, playwright, essayist, director, and painter. In addition to Soul Mountain and One Man's Bible; The Other Shore, a book of his plays; and Return to Painting, a volume of his paintings, have been published in the United States.
Gao Xingjian was condemned by the authorities for his "decadent" ideas, forbidden to publish his immensely popular plays during the early 1980s, and was diagnosed with lung cancer. He readied himself for death, but a second Xray granted him a clean bill of health. In light of this miraculous reprieve and rumors of his impending arrest, Gao Xingjian left Beijing and spent five months wandering the forests of central China. His novel traces such a journey to Lingshan (Soul Mountain), which may or may not exist, as a universal quest of the I, you, he, she narrator that ponders and mourns the tragedies of a vast land--the violence, oppression, and sexism; the clear-cutting of forests, pollution of rivers, and forced extinction of animals; the destruction of temples and suppression of art. Gao Xingjian's masterpiece expresses sorrow and anger, wonder and confusion, humor and metaphysics, lust and tenderness, and a profound longing for meaning and freedom.
Edited from Booklist by Donna Seaman, American Library Association
Nobel Lecture by Gao Xingjian (36 minutes) Gao Xingjian delivered his Nobel Lecture in Börssalen at the Swedish Academy in Stockholm, 7 December 2000. Xingjian was introduced by Horace Engdahl, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy.
Between Homeland and Heartland: an interview with Nobel Laureate Gao Xingjian (World Literature Today, May-June 2008)
Exiled Chinese author names literature's foes.(Nobel laureate Gao Xingjian) The New York Times, Dec 8, 2000, p.A17(L)
Gao Xingjian. One Man's Bible (The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Spring 2003)
Intercollegiate Rowing Catches On in China; Hong Kong University Irks Beijing by Honoring Nobel Prize-Winning Dissident (The Chronicle of Higher Education, June 15, 2001)
Nobel Author's Works Prove Hard to Find in the U.S. (The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 8, 2000)
Soul Mountain (The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Summer 2001)