Eileen Chang (Ailing Zhang, 1920-1995) was one of the most influential Chinese writers of the twentieth century. The digitized portion of her collection available online here dates from 1919 to 1994. Her works, considered to be among the best Chinese literature of the 1940s, examined the themes of marriage, family, love, and relationships in the social context of 1930s and 1940s Shanghai. The Ailing Zhang papers were brought to the USC East Asian Library with the help of Dr. Dominic Cheung 張錯, Professor Emeritus of Chinese and Comparative Literature at USC. It consist of six boxes of correspondence (primarily with literary critic Dr. C.T. Hsia 夏志清), manuscripts (such as The Sing-Song Girls of Shanghai, Chang’s English translation of the Chinese novel Hai Shang Hua 海上花), newspaper clippings and journal articles, photographs, essays, articles, and written speeches. While the collection includes some of her early Shanghai publications, the majority of the materials relate to her life and ongoing works after she immigrated to the United States in 1955. The strength of the collection is found within the correspondence as this series chronicles Chang’s life and career in the United States, primarily her professional relationship with Dr. C.T. Hsia. Though a largely obscure figure in modern Chinese literature from the 1950s to the 1970s, Chang's career was revived by Dr. Hsia who played a role in helping Zhang achieve wider recognition.
This collection consists of four sub-collections:
Please note that the online collection does not include all the items from the Ailing Zhang papers held at the USC special collections. See the finding aid for a complete list of items at https://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/c85m68v2/admin/. Also, the OCR functionality of the software we are using for the digital library is quite limited, so you may see gibberish characters in the full text field for letters and essays written in Chinese. We apologize for the inconvenience that may cause you.