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September 30, 1920

“Between memory and reality there are awkward discrepancies…” Eileen Chang

Eileen Chang 張愛玲 Chinese-born American essayist, novelist, and screenwriter was born.

Eileen Chang, also known as Zhang Ailing or Chang Ai-ling, 張愛玲 was a Chinese-born American essayist, novelist, and screenwriter. Chang was born with an aristocratic lineage and educated bilingually in Shanghai. She gained literary prominence in Japanese-occupied Shanghai between 1943 and 1945.

Eileen Chang 張愛玲 was born to an opium-addicted, traditional Chinese father and a Westernized mother who learned to ski on bound feet. When 17 year old Chang contracted dysentery, her father dismissed her claims of ill health and locked her up in her bedroom for months; she escaped with the help of her nurse. Witty and stylish, Chang was famous in Shanghai for her fiction about troubled romance and family betrayal. Though she died a recluse in Los Angeles, her work remains popular and beloved in China.

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