Qiong Yao: An Important Writer in Chinese Entertainment

Qiong Yao was a talented writer, misunderstood early on but her writing style was a revolutionary, talented writer who published 200 articles back as a High School student.  Unable to enter College, she got married to her ex-husband and had one son.  However the marriage landed in divorce in the 60s where she started to write depressing novels as a result of that traumatic experience.she relied on writing as her only income though later, she became a screenwriter.  She had to continue writing in order to survive.  And her circumstances also proved a bit of what her writing could do especially during the 1960s.  Taiwan during that time was still at a dark era, recovering from the civil war and she beautifully weaved the circumstances into her writing, as well as what she knew of China back then to make her novels come to life.

What I like about some of her writings (Okay I haven't read them all) is that she's not afraid to address the weakness of both genders.  In her stories, she shows her female protagonists who can go from strong weed characters into characters that suffer psychologically all for the sake of love and male protagonists that are mentally weaker than her female protagonists.  In a chauvinistic society, a man is overvalued and a woman is undervalued.  Almost every deciding power falls into man's hands.  What was often ignored in a chauvinistic society that women can do some things better than men and vice versa.  It's been proven that most women are better thinkers, organizers, communicators, stress handlers, financiers and multitaskers.  In Qiong Yao's case she has proven herself with all those areas in handling her life as a single mother, how her stories communicates her message, how she was better at handling stress.  Rarely does a woman commit suicide over bad relationships, most of those suicides usually happen to men.  In Romance in the Rain, one can see Shuhuan is mentally weaker and men are usually a lot more prone to impulsiveness than women.  Check out how many times a man makes a wrong decision over a woman in real life!

She is also one to challenge the feudalistic dictum of the family.  Earlier on, she targeted not only the abuse done by chauvinists (which her leading are a picture of men who support women's rights) but also the sick feudalistic family.  In old Chinese tradition, the parents had absolute authority and should not be questioned, frequently suffering from double standard parenting.  Wives were not treated as the other half but rather trophies.  The mother-in-law after many years of being a wife who can't speak her mind and the oppressed daughter-in-law, becomes the monster she had always complained about.  Some of her novels always had targeted not only against rebellion and revenge but also, that it's bad to be overly submissive. She had pointed out some of her male protagonists willing to help the female protagonist in their quest for women's rights.  This could be evidenced in her novels like The Ghost Gate, Plum Blossom Trilogy and Romance in the Rain.

After her rather intense novels, she started to write happier endings.  Some of her lighter novels were The Unforgettable Character (which Qin Han played in both the movie and series versions) and Princess Pearl (which Vicki Zhao starred in before Romance in the Rain).  On the other hand, she also had her long weepy ones like Courtyard Deeply where the main character Paiwen (now blind) discovers that the wife he thought had died was still alive after ten years (which he cohabited with Ailin who also believed that Pai Wen's wife Hanye had died) that had happy endings like how Ailin left discovering Peiwen could never love her.

What made her special was that every time her novels get adapted for the TV screen, she would actually take part as a screenwriter and lyricist at times.  After all, she took part in the 2001 version of Romance in the Rain, where she took away Ruping's suicide, added the Sino-Japanese war plot into it, gave Yiping and Shuhuan happier endings in both 1986 and 2001 version.  She had been a lyricist and screenwriter while being able to handle the task of being her second husband's other half.  It was pretty glad that she was still able to take time with her family.  So far she has written many beautiful songs that may have continued to touch the hearts of people.


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