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Chinese-American Author & Memoirist

NYS Writers Institute, November 13, 2007
4:15 p.m. | Classical Poetry Reading | Assembly Hall,
Campus Center
8:00 p.m. Contemporary Poetry Reading | Assembly Hall, Campus Center

Previous Visit:
NYS Writers Institute Reading: November 2, 2006
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center

Brothers by Da ChenPROFILE
Da Chen
is a bestselling author, bamboo flute player, and brush calligrapher. The grandchild of a disgraced landowner, Da came of age in rural China during Chairman Mao's Cultural Revolution, a time when he and his family were subjected to daily persecutions by party officials, neighbors, schoolmates, and teachers as members of a despised social class. He recounts his experiences with unexpected humor in Colors of the Mountain (1999), a New York Times bestselling memoir that was the object of a bidding war among five top New York publishing houses.

"A dazzling debut…. Colors of the Mountain is a completely engrossing coming-of-age that's surprisingly free of cynicism or bitterness. His stories are made all the more poignant by the wonder and vulnerability in the voice of their child narrator." - Newsweek

Colors of the MountainDa's newest book and first novel for adult readers is Brothers (2006), a family saga about half-brothers caught on opposing sides of the political earthquakes that have transformed China in recent decades. Tan is the legitimate heir of the powerful Chinese general, Ding Long. Shento is the general's bastard child, abandoned to be raised in a squalid orphanage. The conflict between them spans the major episodes of modern Chinese history, from the Cultural Revolution, to the rise of the new post-Communist economy and the Tiananmen Square uprising.

"Chen's inventive and sprawling family saga eloquently recreates a time of enormous upheaval." - Publishers Weekly

"Chen deftly blends pathos and humor in this breathtaking evocation of an era of momentous political, social, and economic change." - Booklist

Sounds of the RiverEarlier books include the young adult novel, Wandering Warrior (2003), a kung fu-themed romp that was optioned for a feature film by Warner Brothers; Sounds of the River (2002), a memoir that recounts Da's hard-won academic successes in both China and the U.S.; and China's Son (2001), an adaptation of Colors of the Mountain for young readers.

Da Chen is a graduate of the Beijing Languages and Culture University where, after graduating first in his class, he served as Professor of English. He subsequently attended Columbia University Law School on a full scholarship. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, he worked for a Wall Street investment banking firm. He lives in the Hudson Valley.

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Writers Online Magazine Article

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