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Biography's Source: From the publisher
Zhang Chengzhi was born in 1948 in Beijing, though his family came from Shandong. After graduating from middle school in 1968 he went to work as a herdsman on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia for four years, becoming fluent in the language. From 1972 to 1975 he studied archaeology at Beijing University, and upon taking his M.A. in 1981 from the History and Language Department of the Academy of Social Sciences Postgraduate Institute, he joined the Nationalities Research Institute. He is now a professional writer and a member of the Chinese Writers' Association and has since 1978 published several collections of short stories, though his first piece was a poem in Mongolian entitled "Arad-un-huu" ("Son of the People"), which he adopted as a pen name. His stories "Why the Rider Eulogizes His Mother", "The Black Steed" and "Rivers of the North" were national prize-winners.