Originally from Henan, China, Yan is one of China’s most distinctive contemporary writers. He is based in Beijing. He joined the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) when he was 20. Yan graduated from a Political Education degree at Henan University in 1985, and received a degree in Literature from PLA Academy of Art in 1991. Yan began his writing career in 1979, and has published more than 11 full-length novels, including Lenin’s Kiss, Four Books, Summer Sunset and Years After Years, plus 10 novellas, including The Years, Months, Days, Golden Cave, Marrow, and Toward Southeast; and numerous volumes of prose and discourse. His books have been translated into over 20 languages, and received numerous awards including the Lu Xun Literature Prize and the Lao She Literature Prize in China. Yan is a member of the Chinese Writers Association. He was the first Chinese writer to earn the Franz Kafka Literature Prize, and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, among others. In 2017, Yan was conferred a Doctor of Letters honoris causa by HKUST.