LU WENFU (1927—2005)
LU WENFU (1927—2005). Fiction writer. Born in Suzhou, a city he loved and devoted his whole career to depicting, Lu Wenfu worked for many years as a journalist and magazine editor and served as president of the Jiangsu Writers’ Association and vice president of the Chinese Writers’ Association. His literary career began in the 1950s with short stories about life in the small alleys of Suzhou, the most famous of which is “Xiao xiang shen chu” (Deep within a Lane). He is best known as the author of “Meishi jia” (The Gourmet), a novella about Suzhou cuisine and food culture. By all accounts, Lu was an old-fashioned gentleman who remained unaffected by the rampant ideological and dogmatic literature. What interested him throughout his career was the laid-back, simple but elegant lifestyle of the Suzhou residents. His prose is graceful, and his observations of the details of ordinary life are precise and full of wisdom. For his success in portraying the customs and traditions of Suzhou, he was called an “urban root-seeker,” an honor he shared with other writers such as Deng Youmei, who wrote about the disappearing traditional life of old Beijing. See also ROOT-SEEKING LITERATURE.