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Ruoxi Chen

Ruoxi Chen, whose name was formerly transliterated as Jo-hsi Chen, was born in Japanese-occupied Taiwan and raised in Taipei. She graduated from National Taiwan University in 1961 with a degree in Western Literature. She pursued post-graduate studies in the United States at Mount Holyoke College and Johns Hopkins University, graduating with an M.A. in English literature in 1965. With her husband, she moved to mainland China in 1966 as they were inspired by misleading reports of the glories of the revolution under communism. Instead, they lived for seven years in the midst of the chaos of the Cultural Revolution. During that time in China, Chen did not publish any stories. Disillusioned, they left China in 1973, lived in Hong Kong for a year and then moved to Vancouver, British Columbia where they lived until 1979 when Chen jointed the Center for Asian Studies at Berkeley, California. The Center published her non-fiction work Democracy Wall and the Unofficial Journals in 1982. In 1981 the Center published a non-fiction work, Ethics and Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, that she co-authored with Lowell Dittmer.
Chen is best known as a writer of short stories who writes and publishes in Chinese. She also wrote one novel, [The Repatriates] that was published in Chinese in 1978. In the early 2000s, Chen was reported to be living in Vancouver. It is unclear where she currently resides. Chen Ruoxi is actually a nom de plum.

Fiction (Short stories)

The Execution of Mayor Yin and Other Stories from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

Translated from the Chinese by Nancy Ing and Howard Goldblatt.
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978.
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Publisher’s Synopsis (From the book jacket flap)

Far better than any scholarly report, this collection of eight stories–most of them melancholy, many satiric, some openly angry–vividly reveal what life was really like in China during and after the Cultural Revolution. They constitute the first “dissent literature” about contemporary China to be published in English.

Fiction (Short stories)

The Old Man, and Other Stories

Hong Kong: Research Centre for Translation, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, 1986.

Fiction (Short stories)

The Short Stories of Chen Ruoxi, Translated from the Original Chinese: A Writer at the Crossroads

Edited by Hsin-sheng C. Kao.
Lewiston: E. Mellen Press, 1992.

Fiction (Short stories)

Spirit Calling: Five Stories of Taiwan

Written under the name Hsiu-mei Chen.
Taipei: Heritage Press, 1962.

Anthology (Short stories)

Born of the Same Roots: Stories of Modern Chinese Women

Chen, Ruoxi. “My Friend Ai Fen,” translated by Richard Kent and Vivian Hsu. In Born of the Same Roots: Stories of Modern Chinese Women, ed. Vivian Ling Hsu. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981. Available as an Open Access book from the Press.

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Leys, Simon. “Introduction.” In Chen, Ruoxi. The Execution of Mayor Yin and Other Stories from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1978, [xii]-xxviii.
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McClanaghan, Lillian. “Loss in Chen Jo-hsi’s Fiction.” M.A. thesis, University of British Columbia, 1982.
Available as an open access thesis from the Open Library, UBC

Two Writers and the Cultural Revolution: Lao She and Chen Jo-hsi, ed. George Kao. Hong Kong: Chinese University Press, 1980.
Includes Lao She’s pre-1949 out put and Chen’s writings in English and/or Chinese, together with essays about the two writers. The work includes the excerpts “I Love Chairman Mao” and “Reunion in Nanking” from her novel [The Repatriates] translated by Howard Goldblatt. The novel was published in Chinese by Kuei in 1978.


Publisher Indiana University Press