Hong Ke: Xi’an-based Writer Inspired by Xinjiang’s History and Culture Has Passed Away
Chinese media report that prolific Xi’an-based novelist Hong Ke (红柯), who was long captivated by the multiethnic history of Xinjiang, died on February 24, 2018 (突发: 陕西著名作家红柯去世享年56岁).
He left his native Shaanxi for Xinjiang in 1983 and lived for a decade in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture bordering on Mongolia and Russia. Although he returned to Shaanxi and took up university teaching positions in Xi’an, Hong Ke --- a Han who never mastered any language but Mandarin --- was deeply inspired by the cultural fusion he discovered in China's far northwest, and subsequently penned numerous novels and short stories set in Xinjiang that feature historical and legendary characters from China's various ethnicities. See here for his Chinese novels, here for an English excerpt from one of them, Urho (乌尔和), and here for excellent backgrounder on him in French.