Here is an article that will introduce people to the short story writer Lao She. (It’s from the Wall Street Journal so you may get a pay wall.) He was born to a Manchu Bannerman who was killed in the Boxer Uprising. His grandmother told him endless horrifying and heroic stories about the Righteous Boxers who he was too young to remember himself.
He wrote a lot. He travelled a lot, studying in London and teaching in the USA. He was super important in the humor writing movement (which was eventually crushed by the Communists). His most famous stories are The Rickshaw Boy and Crescent Moon. The story I recommend most is “Soul Slaying Spear” which is about the changes that happened to martial arts in the first 20 years of the 20th Century. It is pretty awesome. It has the lead character, old man name Dragon Killer, reading Fengshenyanyi. The significance of this will all be explained in my almost finished new book. But the angry baby god Nezha is a dragon killer and his epic is Fengshenyyanyi (Canonization of the Gods). It appears that he also made Soul Slaying Spear into a play! But it is still in manuscript form. He also wrote a play about the Boxer Uprising.
“Soul Slaying Spear” is “Duan Hun Qiang”" 斷魂槍 It is also the name of a Baguazhang spear routine in Sha Style Bagua. Wow. Here is the story in Chinese
Lao She was tortured to death by his students at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. He was a great man.
Thanks to Eric Kozin and Israel Kanner who told me about this story while sharing a wonderful (because of the company) meal at an outdoor cafe in Israel two years ago. I expect they are both going to publish about it soon.