What they say
Updated: 2012-05-08 10:14
Lei Da, literary critic and deputy director, Chinese Association of Contemporary Literature:
Zhang Wei's spiritual world is full of contradictions and conflicts. This is the source of his vitality and charm, but this is also where his limitation lies. In a sense he is the Hamlet of Chinese writing. He looks at the world from two different perspectives - enlightenment and man's communion with nature. Throughout the 1980s, he wrote to defend human rights and dignity, in the spirit of enlightenment and humanitarianism.
While The Ancient Ship touches the heights of championing the spirit of individualism through the protagonist Sui Baopu, it lacks a more profound integration with the ground beneath Sui's feet. September's Fable highlights the divine power of the Earth, but returns to a glorified utopia of agricultural civilization. You Are on the Highland is a masterpiece that offers deep insights into the living conditions of Chinese people as they are now, their anxieties and search for spiritual redemption.
Zhang Xinying, academic, Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Fudan University:
Zhang Wei's writing is both pure and rich - it reflects the true nature of society and features all sorts of characters that are made to come alive through his precise description. Also, his novels are rich in terms of his concerns for society, environment and human relationships. This perfect integration of the pure and rich can seldom be found elsewhere.
His importance lies in his strong involvement in and concerns for society. These have become more pronounced in his works over the years. His works are always connected with society's development.