XU Xing









XU Xing  徐星  (b. 1956 in Beijing) is a writer, documentary film maker and public intellectual currently residing in Beijing. As a writer he became iconic in the 1980s with his work Variations Without a Theme (无主题变奏), that defined the mood of the Chinese youth of that period. During the Cultural Revolution Xu was left by himself as a child – his parents had been sent far away for re-education – and travelled and wandered in many distant places of China.  Xu emigrated for Germany in 1989, and didn’t return for four years.

He revisited his experiences as a rebellious youth in the early 70s in one of his recent documentaries. In his novels and documentaries he employs fiercy irony and consistently focusses on people on the fringe of society left behind by rapid development in China.

His work has been translated into French, German, English and Italian.


XU Xing (2004): Shengxia Dou Shuyu Ni (剩下都属于你),
lit. “You Can Have Whatever’s Left”, currently untranslated

—— (1985): Wu Zhuti Bianzou (无主题变奏 ),
Translation: Xu, Xing (1997). Variations Without a Theme’ and Other Stories. Trans. Maria Galikowski and Lin Min. Sydney: Wild Peony.

—— (1992). Le Crabe à lunettes. Trans. Sylvie Gentil. Paris: Éditions Julliard.


2007:  Wo de Wenge Biannianshi (我的文革编年史) A Chronicle of My Cultural Revolution 

2013: 5+5 (Wu Jia Wu), with Andrea Cavazzuti