In 1946, George Orwell articulated the reasons why he put pen to paper in an essay entitled Why I Write.
In this Web series, authors talk about their literary habits and reading preferences,
and examine Orwell's question that lies at the heart of being an author—why they write.

Hong Ying

The Concubine of Shanghai 


Hong Ying is the author of two best-selling memoirs, Daughter of the River, and The Good Children of the Flowers, and the novels Summer of BetrayalPeacock Cries, The Concubine of Shanghai and K: the Art of Love, for which she won the Prize of Rome.

She is the wife of novelist Adam Williams.


Why I write
I have to make money to survive.


Do you write every day? If so, how many hours?
I write every morning, three hours.


Worst source of distraction?
All the housework I have to do.


Best source of inspiration?
To love someone.


How often do you get writers’ block/doubt your own ability?
I never have writers’ block, but I sometimes have to stop to eat good food.


Contemporary writer in any medium who you never miss?
J.M. Coetzee.


Favorite Chinese writer?
Cao Xueqin.


Best book about China?
Hungry Ghosts by Jasper Becker.


Favorite book? / Writer?
Selected Poems of Paul Celan. Paul Celan.


The book you should have read but haven’t?
I have read everything I want to.


You look back at the first thing you had published and think…
Quite brave to have done it, actually.


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Posted on: December 23rd, 2012 by admin No Comments