Martial arts novelist Louis Cha dies at 94
Louis Cha Leung-yung, one of China’s most influential novelists, died on Oct 30 surrounded by loved ones at Hong Kong Sanatorium and Hospital, according to sources close to the family. Cha, better known by the pen name Jin Yong, was 94.
He was most famous for his wuxia novels, which told tales of martial arts and chivalry. More than 300 million copies of his works have been sold. Cha published his first novel, The Book and
the Sword, in 1955 in New Evening Post under his pen name. He wrote 15 novels, his last being The Deer and the Cauldron, which was released in 1972.
His novels have been adapted for film, television and radio, and have deeply influenced the cultural development of Chinese-speaking communities.
Cha also founded Ming Pao, a major Chinese-language newspaper in Hong Kong, in 1959, serving as its editor-in-chief until his retirement in 1989.
During his life, he was honored by top universities in China and around the world.
He also served on the Basic Law Drafting Committee before Hong Kong’s return to China in 1997.
Cha, who was born in Haining, in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, graduated from the Law School of Soochow University in 1948.
To help support himself during his studies, he began to work as a journalist and translator for Ta Kung Pao newspaper in Shanghai. In
Cha was “China’s Shakespeare” and the “grandmaster” of Chinese screenwriters. JOHN CHONG CHING president of the Hong Kong Screenwriters’ Guild
1948, he went to work in the paper’s Hong Kong office.
Tributes poured in after the literary giant’s passing.
Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, expressed deep condolences to Cha’s family on behalf of her government.
She said Cha had made one of the greatest contributions to Chinese culture, as well as to Hong Kong’s media development.
Science fiction novelist Ni Kuang called Cha’s novels “the best in the world and of all time”, and said the writer’s legacy would live on forever.
John Chong Ching, president of the Hong Kong Screenwriters’ Guild, says Cha was “China’s Shakespeare” and the “grandmaster” of Chinese screenwriters.
Louis Cha Leung-yung, better known by the pen name Jin Yong, is a source of deep inspiration for Chinese around the world.