The first thing anyone said about Shi Tiesheng is that he was disabled -- he lost the use of his legs following an accident at 21, and was plagued with ill-health most of his life. "Writer Overcomes His Condition to Produce Exceptional New Novel", goes a China Daily headline. But it's also true that he's specifically turned toward writing about disability in the years before his death in 2010.
He lived in Beijing, near Ditan Park. His essay "我与地坛" (I and Ditan) "has been considered by many as one of the best Chinese prose essays of the 20th century," says the above article.