Skip to main content

MOC pays tribute to novelist Wang Wen-hsing

  • Date:2023-10-04
MOC pays tribute to novelist Wang Wen-hsing

Novelist Wang Wen-hsing (王文興) passed away on Sept. 27 at the age of 84. Upon hearing the news, Minister of Culture Shih Che expressed his condolences and commended the lifelong commitment of Wang to literary writing and education. He emphasized that Wang played a vital role in introducing modernism into the contemporary Taiwanese literary scene. 


Born in 1939, Wang studied in the Foreign Languages and Literature Department at the National Taiwan University (NTU) and later pursued a Master's degree at the English Department of the University of Iowa. In 2007, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the NTU. In 1960, Wang and other like-minded writers created the literary magazine "Modern Literature" (現代文學). Apart from some pieces of poetry and prose, most of Wang's creations are novels, among which "Family Catastrophe" (家變) and "Backed Against the Sea" (背海的人) are regarded as his chefs-d'oeuvre. 


Wang worked on his crafts for around 60 years, constantly on a quest to perfect artistic writing, with an emphasis on authenticity and musicality. Serving as a professor at the NTU, he was praised as paradigmatic for contributing to the world of contemporary Taiwanese literature through both writing and teaching. 


Due to his literary achievements, Wang was the recipient of major awards such as the National Award for Arts (國家文藝獎), the Hua Zong World Chinese Literature Award (花蹤世界華文文學獎), and the Order of Arts and Letters. The National Award for Arts commented that Wang’s unique style is deeply influential as his works are full of experimentation as well as innovation, and his departure will be missed.