David Henry Hwang

My commitment: Writing beyond what I know

I usually have some sort of question that I’m trying to answer for myself. Writing is a way for me to understand how I really feel about a matter, even in my subconscious, even beyond what I know.

My probably best-known play, for example, is M Butterfly, and it’s based on the true story of a French diplomat who had a 20-year affair with a Chinese actress who turned out to be a spy and a man in drag. The diplomat claimed that he never knew that his lover was actually a man. And so there’s a very obvious question: how could the diplomat not have known?

When things excite me and make me really curious, I want to write about them.

 

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