Latest News:  

English>>Life & Culture

Death ends 'great love' for Shanghai (2)

By Zhang Kun (China Daily)

11:01, April 24, 2013

Cheng turned to non-fiction writing in the 1990s and published a series of books: Shanghai Tango, Shanghai Lady, Shanghai Fashion, Shanghai Roman, Shanghai Saxophone, and others. Shanghai Gentleman, the latest, has just been translated into English, and will come out later this year.

"Naishan has great love for the city of Shanghai, especially the district of Jing'an," says her husband, Yan Erchun. "She was born and raised here. There are endless stories she wanted to write about Shanghai."

Cheng was a dedicated and productive writer. "She would say a day without writing was not worth living," Yan says by phone. Late in her career, the history of Shanghai became a heated subject and "even people who neither lived here nor know about it" wrote about Shanghai and often told untrue stories. "She always wanted to write more and believed a metropolis like Shanghai was worth writing about," Yan says.

Cheng was diagnosed with leukemia in the winter of 2011. Despite chemotherapy and other treatments, she went on with her writing whenever she could.

Lyu from the Xinmin Evening News received a phone call from Cheng in October 2012. "She was laughing and joking that she just made a narrow escape from death," Lyu says. Cheng discussed with the editor about her ideas for a series of pieces for the column.

"She would call me every time she filed the story, sharing details behind each piece, and discussing the accurate expression in Shanghai dialect," Lyu recalls. "She was a quick hand, and I published her pieces as soon as they arrived."

Cheng's death will leave a gap in the lineage of the cultural narrative of Shanghai, Lyu says.

Cheng was a writer who caught hold of the spirit of old Shanghai, says Wang Xiaoying, a fellow woman writer in Shanghai. "Few writers wrote well about the city. Cheng Naishan is a most outstanding of us," she says.

Cheng lived in Hong Kong temporarily in the 1990s. She worked as the Hong Kong correspondent for New Weekly and wrote stories that ranged from outlining the city cultural landscape to an exclusive interview with its most famous comedy movie director, Stephen Chow.

【1】 【2】

We recommend:

Zhang Yuqi, Wang Quanan get married

Super kittens that make you laugh

Never-seen photos of Madonna on display

"Low-carbon fashion" show held in China

Hold on to the last tattoo of Li people

11 most creative elevators in the world

World's most precious diamonds

Cute baby and his little bulldogs

Angelababy poses for VOGUE magazine

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:DuMingming、Ye Xin)

Related Reading

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. China's aircraft carrier at Qingdao home base

  2. Powered parachutes used in quake rescue operations

  3. France allows same-sex marriage, adoption

  4. Are vaccines safe for your baby?

  5. Touching love stories in the quake

  6. Speed is of the essence in Lushan

  7. A mystery castle in Qing dynasty

  8. Beijing Guoan beat Pohang Steelers 2-0

  9. Entrepreneurs see potential in market

  10. No new stimulus needed as economy remains stable

Most Popular


  1. Providing security guarantee for co-development
  2. Insisting on wrong road, Japan has no future
  3. US 'turns blind eye to human rights'
  4. Are cities expanding too fast and too soon?
  5. Homework, games limit kids' reading
  6. Commentary: Quake-hit China grows in pain
  7. Loan guidance is good for banks, report says
  8. IMF should act responsibly
  9. Terrorist attacks should not be regionally labeled
  10. Texas town: like whipped by powerful tornado

What’s happening in China

China’s weekly story

  1. Boy, 6, dies after being ejected from van in crash
  2. 9 kidney traffickers get jail terms
  3. WeChatto keep free
  4. Customers not warm on charity coffee
  5. 'Suspended meals' offer aid with dignity