Chinese women writers are enjoying a golden age of writing in both quantity and quality.
Statistics show that of the 6,400 members of the Chinese Writers' Association, about 1,000 are women, 15.6 percent of the total membership.
For the past 2,000 years, China has had only a few women writers such as Cai Wenji and Li Qingzhao.
Women writers such as Wang Anyi and Zhang Kangkang born in the 1950s, Chen Ran in the 1960s and Mianmian in the 1970s have a large readership here and abroad. Some of their novels have been made into movies or TV plays.
Wang Anyi, the 2000 winner for the highest state-level prize winner, said, "Women writers are not inferior to male writers either in their understanding of life or in literary competence."
Che Suyu, deputy head of the Chinese Literature Archives Society, said, "There has not been any other time in history when women writers have written on such a wide range of subjects and in such diversified styles."
Critics at the 6th National Congress of the Chinese Writers' Association said women writers could be more sensitive than male writers in their understanding of human psychology, especially that of other women. Some women writers have also touched upon such controversial topics as sex and drug addiction.
Critic Bei Ye said, "Writings by women no longer serve as a kind of ornaments in the Chinese literature, but as something that can stand alone." Many critics say that the emergence of Chinese women writers not only reflects the independence of women, but also indicates China is making social progress.
(China Daily December 22, 2001)