May 16, 2022

Now Available Online: UCSB Library Digitizes Works by Renowned Chinese Author Kenneth Pai

From the University of California, Santa Barbara Library:

Original, handwritten manuscripts by an author who has been called a Nobel Prize contender and compared to Ernest Hemingway are now available for everyone around the world to see.

2019-01-17_18-41-57Pai Hsien-yung, also known as Kenneth Pai, was a professor of Chinese literature at UCSB from 1965 to 1994. “Kenneth Pai is probably the most famous contemporary writer in the Chinese diaspora, often mentioned in conversation among Chinese intellectuals as a potential candidate for the Nobel Prize,’ said Kuo-Ch’ing Tu, a UCSB professor of Taiwan studies and co-editor of Taiwan Literature, published by the Forum for the Study of World Literatures in Chinese at UCSB.

Three of Pai’s handwritten drafts for his novel Crystal Boys — he was meticulous about rewriting, and actually revised the novel five times — are part of a newly digitized UCSB Library collection of his works that also includes his short stories and prose, a total of 57 manuscripts comprising 2,644 pages. Crystal Boys, published in 1983, is the first Chinese fictional work to address gay culture.


In 1997, Pai, who lives in both Santa Barbara and Taiwan, donated an extensive archive of his works to the UCSB Library that includes manuscripts of his novels and short stories in Chinese and English; videos, photographs, and posters from film and theater adaptations of his works; correspondence; and academic articles.

Direct to Pai Hsien-Yung Collection

Learn More About Kenneth Pai and the Collection in the Complete UCSB Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.