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(1952-1997) The perennial dark horse of modern Chinese literature, Wang Xiaobo is fiercely loved by readers and writers alike, but the canon, if there is such a thing, does not know how to make room for him. He wrote both fiction and essays, and while he saw himself primarily as an author, it is the essays which have earned him his ambiguous fame. The tone in which he wrote about Chinese society and culture seems light, and is often humorous, but it is the lightness of someone who has seen to the heart of things and takes none of it seriously. Of course, when he was not writing he did take things very seriously, and the pressure of a society which recognized his talent but could not assimilate his ideas may have hastened his death.
Wang Xiaobo is the featured author in READ PAPER REPUBLIC, week 5, 16 July 2015.