The coffin fell apart.
There was the sound of decayed wood crumbling, and a cloud of smoke surged out, like water vapour from a hot steamer.

Yan Lianke / Carlos Rojas

Zhu Wen

朱文

Zhu Wen was born in Fujian Province in 1967 and spent his childhood in Jiangsu. After graduating from Dongnan University with a degree in engineering, he worked for five years in a thermal power plant (a subject he later revisited in the short story "Ah, Xiao Xie"). He began publishing his poetry in 1989, and soon became associated with the Nanjing-based group of "Tamen" poets, a loose affiliation that includes Han Dong, Xiao Wei and Li Hongqi, among others. In 1994, Zhu Wen left his day job to become a full-time writer. Since then, he has published six collections of novellas and short stories, two collections of poetry and one novel. He first gained fame with his 1995 short story collection "I Love Dollars". Zhu Wen is also an accomplished screenwriter and director: his directorial debut Seafood won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2001 Venice Film Festival, and his second film South of the Clouds was awarded the NETPAC Prize at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival. He currently lives in Beijing.