Hong Ying

Hong Ying is a Chinese author. Hong was born in Chongqing on September 1962, towards the end of the Great Leap Forward, she began to write at eighteen, leaving home shortly afterwards to spend the next ten years moving around China, exploring her voice as a writer via poems and short stories. After brief periods of study at the Lu Xun Academy in Beijing and Shanghai’s Fudan University, Hong Ying moved to London in 1991 where she settled as a writer, she returned to Beijing in 2000. Best known in English for the novels K: the Art of Love, Summer of Betrayal, Peacock Cries, her autobiography Daughter of the River. Hong Ying’s work has been published in twenty languages and has appeared on the bestseller lists of numerous countries, she won the Prize of Rome for K: the Art of Love in 2005 and many of her books have been or are now in the process of being turned into television series and films. Hong Ying has long been interested in stories of homosexuals living in China, a theme explored in her short story collection, A Lipstick Called Red Pepper: Fiction About Gay and Lesbian Love in China 1993–1998.

In her work, she likes to focus on human stories and history. Her responsibility as a writer, she believes, is in part to explore the lives of marginalised groups struggling for visibility – and for compassion – in contemporary China. In recent years, Hong Ying has written a number of books for children: Mimidola: the River Child. Hong Ying is married to Adam Williams, born 1953, a banker and businessman turned writer. Williams is a fourth generation Briton, born to a family with colonial ties to the Far East, they have a daughter Sybil. They live in Italy. Far Goes the Girl 《女子有行》 Taiwan: Erya Press 1996.

Sorabe alphabet

Sorabe, or Sora-be, is an alphabet based on Arabic used to transcribe the Malagasy language and the Antemoro Malagasy dialect in particular dating from the 15th century. Researchers are still hypothesizing about the origins of this transcription system. "Sorabe" means "large writings" from Arabic "sura" and Malagasy "be". This denomination might point to the existence of a previous writing system with smaller characters of Sanskrit origin used in South East Asia as it is evidenced in some Malagasy words. Traditionally, researchers have speculated that this writing system was introduced through commercial contacts of Malagasy with Arab Muslims. However, more recent studies claim that this writing scheme might have been introduced by Javanese Muslims. There are striking similarities between "Sorabe" and "Pegon" writings. A couple hundred old manuscripts have survived to this day though the oldest may have been written no earlier than the 17th century; those "Sorabe" are bound in leather and the texts are named after the colour of the skin.

Most of the texts contain magical formulas but there are some historical texts concerning the origin of some of the tribes of the south east of Madagascar. These origins are traced to Mecca or the Prophet Mohammed though the practice of Islam is nowhere seen in the texts. Sorabe spread across the island beginning in the 17th century and, at the end of the 18th century, the Merina king Andrianampoinimerina called for Antemoro scribes to teach the children of his court to read and write; this was how the future king Radama I learned to write in Sorabe from his childhood. Nowadays Malagasy is written using a Latin alphabet, introduced in 1823. Adelaar K. A. & Himmelmann N. The Austronesian Language of Asia and Madagascar, Routledge. Ferrand, Gabriel. Les migrations musulmanes. Paris: Revue de l'histoire des religions. MR Kasanga Fernand, Fifindra-monina, Librairie FLM, Antananarivo. Simon P. La langue des ancêtres. Ny Fitenin-drazana. Une périodisation du malgache des origines L'Harmattan. Madagascar Malagasy La Case, les Sorabe, l'Histoire Arabic in Madagascar, Kees Versteegh, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 2001 East Barito: Who Were the Malayo-Polynesian Migrants to Madagascar