Chinese children’s book author #CaoWenXuan wins world book prize

bronzeandsunflower

Cao Wenxuan

Cao Wenxuan

JISHOU, HUNAN — Beijing author and literature professor Cao Wenxuan 曹文轩 has won the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen book award for children’s literature.

Cao, 62, has written many children’s books, including Bronze and Sunflower (above), all of which have become beloved classics for two generations of readers. Cao is a professor of literature at Peking University 北京大学。

Born to a poor family in rural Jiangsu Province, Cao spent most of childhood barely having enough to eat, but he retains fond memories of country life. Many of his books are set in the countryside during the 1950s and 1960s.

Bronze and Sunflower tells the story of a girl, Sunflower, during the Cultural Revolution. Her father is compelled to leave his job in the city to work in the countryside, and Sunflower accompanies him. When her father dies, Sunflower is taken in by the family of her friend, Bronze.

Bronze is mute and illiterate, and Sunflower teaches the boy how to read and write. The process opens up a whole new world for Bronze as the two children become like brother and sister.

Cao has already won several book prizes in China. This is his first international award.

Details at BBC News.

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