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SOCIETY & CULTURE

Top Crime-Writer Turns to Mysticism After Losing ‘Muse’

Ai Guozhu, more popularly known by his pen name, A Yi, dozes off at a Beijing bookstore. A Yi describes himself as “a cruel writer” who wants to explore how “merciless” humans can be. Photo: Yilin Press
Ai Guozhu, more popularly known by his pen name, A Yi, dozes off at a Beijing bookstore. A Yi describes himself as “a cruel writer” who wants to explore how “merciless” humans can be. Photo: Yilin Press

Writer Ai Guozhu, who is popularly known by his pen name, A Yi, is obsessed with books and always carries one with him wherever he goes.

“The Big Book of Pain: Torture and Punishment Through History” was the volume he brought on the day of our interview, and nearly half the pages were marked with yellow sticky notes full of his comments.

A Yi describes himself as “a cruel writer” who wants to explore how “merciless” humans can be. As a result, murder, crime, and death are the major themes of his works.

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