Han Shaogong was born on the first day of 1953 in Changsha, capital of Central China's Hunan Province.
In 1968, immediately after graduating from junior secondary school, 15-year-old Han was sent to the countryside in northern Hunan Province to till the fields as an "educated youth." These six years in rural China later became Han's most important literary resource.
Han was once one of the most representative educated youth writers. He won the National Excellent Short Story Prize in 1980 and 1981 while still an undergraduate at Hunan Normal University.
In 1985, Han's essay "Wenxue de Gen (the root of literature)" and novella "Pa Pa Pa" established him as a leader in a new "root-seeking" literary movement, which searched for the essence of Chinese civilization.
Han spent many years studying ancient Chinese culture, especially the pre-Confucian culture of the ancient state of Chu (covering parts of present-day Hunan and Hubei provinces).
It was this research which made the striking cultural-anthropological scrutiny in his Maqiao Dictionary possible.
Since 1988, Han has lived in South China's Hainan Province. The Hainan-based literary magazine The Edge of the Sky (Tianya) that he presided over from 1995 to 2001 is rapidly ascending in influence.
In 2001, Han resigned his position of editor-in-chief of the magazine, moving "periodically" to the Hunan countryside where he writes, reads ancient books, and grows vegetables.
(China Daily April 21, 2003)