Cao Yu (Ts'ao Yu) [real name Wan Jiabao] 1910-1996

The most remarkable of the modern Chinese dramatists in the first half of the 20th century. He studied at Nankai Middle School and Qinghua University and worked briefly as a drama instructor, but it was the plays he wrote in the 1930s, especially the first two, Thunderstorm (1933) and Sunrise (1936) which brought him to prominence. Although heavily influenced by Western theatre, his plays are thoroughly Chinese in manner and material. Later plays, such as Wilderness and Peking Man consolidated his position as the leading contributor to a new, but as it turned out, short-lived form of theatre.

Works available in English:

  • Bright skies (Chang Pei-chi). Peking: Foreign Languages Press, 1960.
  • Peking Man (Leslie Nai-kwai Lo et al.). New York: Columbia University Press, 1986.
  • Sunrise: a play in four acts (A.C.Barnes). Peking: Foreign Languages Press,
  • Sunrise: a play in four acts (H. Yonge). China : Commercial Press, 1948.
  • Thunderstorm (Wang Tso-liang and A.C. Barnes). Peking: Foreign
       Languages; Press, 1958.
  • The Consort of Peace (Monica Lai). Hong Kong: Kelly Walsh, c1980.
  • The Wilderness (Christopher C. Rand and Jo). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1980.

    Studies and Biographies:

  • Ning Wan, Female characters in A. Ostrovskii's "The Storm" and Cao Yu's "The Thunderstorm". Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI, 1985.
  • John Y.H. Hu, Ts'ao Yü. New York: Twayne, 1972.
  • Joseph S.M. Lau, Ts'ao Yü, The Reluctant Disciple of Chekhov and O'Neill: A Study in Literary Invluence. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1970.          close