Writer Han Suyin dies at 95

Henan-born writer whose love story was turned into Hollywood movie dies at age 95

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 November, 2012, 4:14am

Renowned Chinese-born writer Han Suyin has died at her home in Lausanne, Switzerland, at the age of 95.

A memorial service will be held in Lausanne on Thursday, Xinhua cited her family as saying following her death on Friday.

Born in Henan province on September 12, 1917, Han was the daughter of a Chinese railway engineer and his Belgian wife. She studied medicine in Yenching (Yanjing) University and in Brussels in the 1930s and later in London.

Han published about 40 books on modern China, including non-fiction, novels set in East Asia, and autobiographic works.

She was one of the few foreigners who could visit China frequently during the early days of communist rule and the Cultural Revolution. She was well known on the mainland for her biographies of Mao Zedong and late premier Zhou Enlai.

Han returned to China from Brussels in 1938 and married Tang Pao-huang, a Nationalist military officer who died in the civil war in 1947 when she was studying medicine in London.

In 1948 she went to Hong Kong and practised medicine at Queen Mary Hospital.

Her romance with a war correspondent based in Singapore, Ian Morrison, was portrayed in her novel A Many-Splendoured Thing, which was made into the popular movie Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing in 1955.

Morrison died in Korea in 1950. The basis of their relationship was later documented in her autobiography My House Has Two Doors.

Han married two more times, to a British officer in 1952 and an Indian colonel in 1960.