Zhou Meisen

Chronicler of corruption in China

Zhou Meisen, born in Jiangsu in 1956, is the vice-chairman of the Jiangsu Writers Association and member of the Chinese Writers Association. Author of novels like: In the Name of the People, Made in China, Public Prosecution and Absolute Power, many of which were adapted to film and television. He is best known for his book and screenplay for In the Name of the People which was adapted into a 56-episode TV drama series airing on Hunan satellite TV and widely acclaimed in China.

Zhou grew up in Jiawang, known for its coal mining and became a miner after leaving school, his earlier writing focused on the coal-mining industry during which he became a huge fan of French writer Balzac. In the late 1970s, Zhou wrote articles published in various state-owned media including Xinhua Daily and Youth. He first rose to prominence with his 1983 novella The Sinking Land and has been a professional writer since 1984.

Zhou became the deputy secretary general in the Xuzhou city government in his native Jiangsu Province in the mid-1990s and  became an active investor in business, stock and real estate, making him almost uniquely qualified to write about official corruption in China. His novels are full of villains with multi-dimensional, fleshed-out characters with nuanced personalities; quite unusual in the context of China’s anti-corruption literature.

“For anyone interested in the debate over whether a Communist-ruled China is capable of evolving into a land of free expression, there are few more compelling cases than Zhou Meisen.”

Howard W. FrenchThe New York Times