About the author: Professor Timothy A. Ross took his degrees at the University of Iowa, studied at the Inter-University for Chinese Language Studies in Taipei, and teaches history at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. He has written Chiang Kuei in the Twayne World Authors Series and previously published his translation of Chiang Kuei's novel The Whirlwind.1999 0-7734-8188-5
Chiang Kuei's lifetime spanned one of the most turbulent periods in modern Chinese history, the political transition from empire to republic, and the cultural transition from traditional to modern. He grew up during the surge of nationalism and the iconoclastic rejection of traditional values connected with the May Fourth Movement of 1919. As a young man, he took part in the Northern Expedition and witnessed the violent political struggle between the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist Party. During the eight-year War of Resistance Against Japan, he served as an officer in the Chinese army. After the war, he emigrated with his wife and family to Taiwan. He produced numerous novels from the late 1950s to the late 1970s. Two of his novels, The Whirlwind and Rival Suns, may be considered companion pieces; The Whirlwind deals with the Chinese communism in a rural setting, and Rival Suns deals with Chinese communism in an urban setting. The two works represent Chiang Kuei at his best.