Sunday, September 21, 2008

Qu Bo (novelist)

Qu Bo 曲波 was a novelist in the People’s Republic of China. His name was also translated as Chu Po . Qu 曲, the family name, has meanings of curve, melody and tune. Bo 波 stands for ripples and waves. His first book ''Tracks in the Snowy Forest'' made him one of the most popular authors at the time .


Born in Zaolinzhuang Village 枣林庄 , Huangxian 黄县, at the north-east coast of Shandong Province 山东省, Qu Bo’s early education was through a private school where he started to gain his sound knowledge of and succinct language skills. His father, Qu Chunyang 曲春阳 and mother, Qu Liushi 曲刘氏 owned a small business of cotton dyeing, which failed when western textiles poured into China.

In 1938, at the age of 15, he left home and fought in the war against the Japanese invasion . His name was changed from his childhood name Qu Qingtao 曲清涛 into Qu Bo by the officials of the Eighth Route Army. Qu Bo had further education at the Anti-Japanese Military and Political University in Shandong and became a journalist of an army newspaper, The Progress. The army turned into the People's Liberation Army after the Japanese surrendered, and Qu Bo continued to battle in the Chinese civil war in the northeast of China, protecting the regional civilians from robbery and killings by the regional bandits and brigands. In the army, he served as a young literacy teacher, a political commissar and finally a colonel. In 1946 he married Liu Bo 刘波 who was a head nurse of a hospital at the same army regional headquarters.

During the communist regime after 1949, Qu Bo worked in the railway industry and the Ministry of Machinery until his retirement, and lived in Beijing for the rest of his life.

Qu Bo was an active member of the Chinese Writers’ Association 中国作家协会 , and was recognised as a Chinese contemporary writer in the history of Chinese Literature. He had, however, never stopped his full time industrial management jobs and only wrote books and articles during his spare time. He visited Russia, Pakistan and England as an author as well as industrial director. His novels were made into films, Beijing Opera musicals and TV shows.



Tracks in the Snowy Forest 林海雪原 , People’s Literature Publishing House 人民文学出版社. His major success, a thrilling tale of a small group of selected soldiers who went into the snowy mountains searching and fighting dangerous hidden bandits and brigands.
1,560,000 copies of 林海雪原 were printed during 1957-1964 in three editions. There was no further record of the number of copies in later several editions and prints. Qu Bo was seen as one of the many victims of copyright infringement or anarchy . The book was translated into English, Russian, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Mongolian, Norwegian and Arabic.

Roar of the Mountains and the Seas 山呼海啸 , China Youth Press 中国青年出版社 . An adventure story and romance set in Shandong Province during the Anti-Japanese War. The writing was completed before the great cultural revolution and the publication was delayed for more than 10 years.

Qiao Longbiao 桥隆飚 , People’s Literature Press 人民文学出版社. A tale of a patriotic hero who was later enlisted into the communist forces during the war against Japanese. The book was completed before the great cultural revolution, but again the publication was delayed for more than 10 years.

Stele of Rong E 戎萼碑, Shandong People’s Publishing House 山东人民出版社. A story reflecting the importance of Chinese women in the war against Japanese.

Short Stories

Mostly about daily life in an industrial frontier, e.g. 热处理 , 争吵


Mostly travel writings and features 散观平武 澳洲遥祭洛兄


Mostly in the classical style for special occasions

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