As the author of Confessions: An Innocent Life in Communist China
(1997), Kang Zhengguo has provided a picaresque and highly personal memoir of a writer's travails. Of Confessions, William Grimes reported in The New York Times
, "[Kang] lives through the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, the thaw following Mao's death, the growing democracy movement of the 1980s and the crackdown after the protests in Tiananmen Square. [
] The great events are expressed in personal terms, and they are colored by Mr. Kang's unusual sensibility. [
] Simply as a documentary record of daily life in China, Confessions
is a rewarding read, but Mr. Kang, a gifted stylist [
], has transmuted his struggles into a literary work of high distinction."
Kang Zhengguo currently teaches at Yale University, where he is Senior Lector in East Asian Languages and Literatures, a post he has held since 1994. He has published numerous articles and books in Chinese as well as English. These include Body and Desire (Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi, 2001), Fengsao yu yanqing: Chinese Classical Poetry by and about Women (Shanghai: Shanghai wenyi, 2001), and Chongshen fengyue jian: Sexuality and Literature in Traditional China (Taipei: Maitian, 1996). Kang has lectured widely in the United States, China, and Sweden on a broad range of subjects, including Chinese public policy, Chinese classical literature, and gender and cultural studies.
Kang Zhengguo's lecture is sponsored by the Gould Center.