Sheng Keyi is a contemporary Chinese novelist, born in 1973 in a remote village in Hunan province. She migrated to Shenzhen in the early 1990s and then to Beijing. She formerly worked in a securities company, and as a secretary, correspondent, reporter, and editor, among many other occupations. In 2002, she resigned and began writing.
Keyi’s works depict the real lives of China’s poor, the survival of its women, and situations revolving around the human spirit, written in a language that is violent, enthusiastic, and experimental. Her writing has been praised by fellow Chinese authors Mo Yan, Yan Lianke and Yu Hua, and she has been reviewed and interviewed in international publications such as the New York Review of Books, LA Review of Books and Wall Street Journal. She has been awarded many prizes, including the Chinese People’s Literature Prize, the Yu Dafu Prize for Fiction, the Chinese Literature Media Award and the Top 20 Novelists of the Future Prize. Her work has been translated into English and many other languages, including French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Russian, Czech and Korean.
Her works include the novels Northern Girls, Death Fugue and Barbaric Growth, as well as the novella Paradise and several short story collections. Northern Girls, published in English by Penguin in 2012, was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Death Fugue, banned for publication in China, was first published in English by Giramondo in 2014 and is a political allegory that “recalls Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World,” according to the New York Times. It will also be published in Italian by Fazi. Barbaric Growth will be published in English by Penguin under the title Wild Fruit in November 2018, and in Italian by Fazi. Keyi’s two latest novels, The Metaphor Detox Centre and Calm Soil, are published in Chinese in September and October 2018 respectively.