Hong Kong Baptist University presented the grand prize of the 6th Dream of the Red Chamber Award to Mainland author Mr Yan Lianke(閻連科)for his novel Death of the Sun(《日熄》)on 22 September.

Mr Yan was delighted to receive the award, saying that many writers on the Mainland have been writing humbly; “humble” not only signifies existence and power, but also proves the existence of writers and literature. He added that humility will be reflected in all his writings from now on, and also every aspect of his life. He noted that winning the award with Death of the Sun has given the pacification and power to humility, and encourages writers to write for the sake of being humble.

The Chairperson of the final judging panel, Professor Chung Ling(鍾玲), praised Death of the Sun for its thoughtful symbolism, saying it lays bare human nature yet it also puts forth a sarcastic tone in its deciphering of reality. She said the story has a complete and compact structure, with an accurate and creative arrangement of time. She described it as a magical novel with profound significance, especially in its description of human nature, the handling of psychological changes and the confrontation of good and evil.

Officiating at the ceremony were Dr Louis Ng Chi-wa, Deputy Director, Leisure and Cultural Services Department; Mr Zhang Dapeng, President of Y Cee Chemicals Ltd and donor to The Dream of the Red Chamber Award; Mrs Pamela Chan Wong-shui, Deputy Chairman of the Council and the Court of HKBU; Professor Roland Chin, President and Vice-Chancellor; Professor Lo Ping-cheung, Acting Dean of Arts; and Dr Lim Chin-chown, Convenor, Planning Committee of the 6th Dream of the Red Chamber Award.

Mr Yan Lianke is Professor of the School of Liberal Arts in Renmin University of China and writer of an extensive body of novels, novellas and essays which have won worldwide acclaim. Born in Henan, China in 1958, he obtained a degree in politics and education from Henan University in 1985 and a degree in literature from The People’s Liberation Army Academy of Art in 1991. Professor Yan is also the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Lu Xun Literary Prize and Lao She Award Literature Prize. In 2014, he was awarded the Franz Kafka Literature Prize. His works have been translated into more than 20 languages, including Japanese, Korean, English and French.

Mr Yan has spoken at two open lectures entitled “Hong Kong for My Writing” on 23 September and “Beyond Imagination... Reality!” on 24 September. 

Launched by HKBU’s Faculty of Arts in 2006, the “Dream of the Red Chamber Award: The World’s Distinguished Novel in Chinese” runs every two years. It aims to encourage the publication of excellent Chinese novels worldwide and to recognise outstanding Chinese novel writers from around the world to enhance the standards of Chinese novel writing. The winner of the Award receives a cash award of HK$300,000, the highest cash prize for a contest of this kind. For more details, please refer to http://redchamber.hkbu.edu.hk/.