Su Qing (Su Ch'ing) 1917-1982

Su is one of the more controversial of the modern writers. She was often accused of being a collaborator because she became famous and popular as a writer in Japanese-occupied Shanghai. She also wrote a popular but scandalous novel about her unhappy marriage and divorce, Ten Years of Marriage, and then penned a sequel about her life as a divorcee. After her divorce, she was widely accused of supporting herself through immoral relationships with men. In her writings, however, Su vindicated herself and women in general, stressing her status as a professional writer and asserting the power of independence for women. A contemporary of Eileen Chang (Zhang Ailing iR), she is often compared to Chang in her penetrating insight into social hypocrisy and the battle between the sexes. Like Chang, she had a brilliant wit and a penchant for self-irony. Both her writing and her life were a demonstration to women of an alternative to the enslavement of marriage.

Su Qing was implicated in the Hu Feng case in 1955 and because of this and her literary activities in occupied Shanghai, she was sent to prison. Her literary career was ended and she died in poverty in 1982.