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Birth Place of Renowned Novelist Found
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The birth place of renowned local writer Eileen Chang (Zhang Ailing in Chinese) has finally been found after years of searching by a Shanghai radio host, Youth Daily reported today. However, the building along the Suzhou Creek is being dismantled.

"She was born on No. 87 Kangding Road," said the host, known as Chun Zi. "Chang's brother confirmed the location by a photograph."

Chang (1920 -- 1995) is one of the most popular Chinese writers of the 20th century, and a woman who made a major contribution to the cultural life of Shanghai. She's also one of the few 20th century Chinese writers who wrote in both Chinese and English.

"It's known previously that Chang was born in a western style villa close to the rivers -- end on Taixing Road," she told the newspaper. "Kangding Road used to be a part of Taixing Road."

Though 11 years have passed since she died alone in her home in Los Angeles in California, Chang still lives on in the hearts of Chinese literature lovers everywhere.

Before Chang's birth place was found, her former residence at the intersection of Changde Road and Yuyuan Road was frequently visited by her fans.

Born in Shanghai on September 30, 1920, Chang's paternal grandfather was a son-in-law of Li Hung -- Chang, a leading Chinese statesman of the Qing Dynasty (1644 -- 1911).

Chang entered the University of Hong Kong to study literature in 1939 but was forced to return to Shanghai when Hong Kong fell to the Japanese army in 1941. She lived in the Edinburgh Apartments until the summer of 1947.

Since 1985, there has been a remarkable upsurge in interest of Chang's works nationwide. They are being read, discussed and even adapted into films, TV series, plays and even operas.

Chang's novels and books about the legend of her life and love affairs are being published by dozens of publishing houses.

In 2003, The Map of Eileen Chang was published about the places in Shanghai where Chang had stayed or just had a cup of coffee. It was an instant best-seller. The same year also saw the success of This Life (Jin Sheng Jin Shi) written by her first husband Hu, telling the tale of his love affair with Chang. 
(CRI.com December 5, 2006)

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