The University of Macau (UM) today (22 March) conferred a degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa on the renowned writer Jia Pingwa, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to contemporary Chinese literature. Tam Chon Weng, secretary for social affairs and culture and representative of Chief Executive and UM Chancellor Chui Sai On, presented the honorary doctorate to Dr Jia in the company of UM’s University Council Chair Lam Kam Seng and UM Rector Wei Zhao, amid thunderous applause from the audience.
Hong Gang Jin, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, read the citation for Jia Pingwa. The citation said that Jia is a renowned writer with great talent, energy, and charisma. His name and works are destined to be tied together with his time. Jia is a writer of the new age, with boundless talent writers from older times could only dream of. Using the rich historical and cultural heritage as his canvases, he has painted an impressive landscape of the contemporary China and the admirable stories of its people. His works are brimming with breathtaking creativity. Hailing from Shaanxi province, he presents the resilience, brilliance, and nobility, as well as the dust-covered fragility, lethargy and nothingness that are at the core of the Chinese culture in the fascinatingly unpredictable way of a magician. His works, no matter how imaginative, are unfailingly rooted in reality, which gives him an almost Heracles-like strength. This strength endowed him with the greatest charisma a writer can ever hope to attain as well as an enormous cultural influence.
Jia’s masterpieces include Qin Qiang, Fei Du, and Fu Zao. His works have been translated into more than 20 languages, including English, French, German, Swedish, Russian, Japanese, and Korean. He has received numerous prizes for his works, including the Pegasus Prize for Literature for Fu Zao, le Prix Femina Étranger for Fei Du, as well as the Mao Dun Literature Prize and the Dream of the Red Chamber Award for Qin Qiang. In 2012, Jia received the title of ‘The Chinese Writer with the Most International Influence’. In 2013, Jia received the L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. Jia is one of the few greats in Chinese contemporary literature and one of the few Chinese writers who can measure up to the league of world-class writers. He currently serves as the vice president of China Writers Association and the president of the Shaanxi Writers Association.
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