Wei Hui

Zhou Wei Hui (born 1973), known simply by her Chinese given name Wei Hui, is a Chinese Post 70s Generation writer, living and working in Shanghai and New York City. Her novel Shanghai Baby (上海宝贝) (1999) was banned in the People's Republic of China[1][2] as "decadent". Her latest novel Marrying Buddha (我的禅) (2005) was censored, modified and published in China under a modified title. She is often associated with Mian Mian, another slightly older member of the "New Generation".

Wei Hui
Wei Hui in 2005
Wei Hui in 2005
BornZhou Weihui
Yuyao, Zhejiang, China
LanguageChinese, English
Alma materFudan University
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese


Zhou Weihui, known in English as Wei Hui, studied Chinese Language and Literature at Fudan University in Shanghai, after a year of military training.

Published worksEdit

Her first short story was published at the age of 21. Her first novel Shanghai Baby, was a local bestseller in Shanghai. Soon after its publication, Shanghai Baby was banned by the Chinese government because of the novel's explicit sexual scenes and bold portrait of China's new generation. The publishing house that published the novel was temporarily closed for 3 months. Shanghai Baby was published overseas where it became an international bestseller. Shanghai Baby has been translated into 34 different languages and has sold over six million copies in 45 countries, more than any other work of Chinese contemporary literature.

Marrying Buddha, Weihui's second novel and a sequel to Shanghai Baby, was published in 2005 and became another international bestseller. Like Shanghai Baby, the novel is again narrated by Coco, a thinly disguised Wei Hui.[citation needed] Coco is described by Weihui as a 'representative of socially and sexually liberated Chinese young women'. Marrying Buddha continues Coco's journey of self-discovery in terms of her sexuality.

Apart from Shanghai Baby and Marrying Buddha, Zhou Weihui has published four other books in Chinese and Japanese:

  1. The Shriek of the Butterfly
  2. Virgin in the Water
  3. Crazy Like Weihui
  4. Desire Pistol

Film adaptationEdit

A German film adaptation of Shanghai Baby starring Bai Ling was released in 2007, but has not been released outside of film festivals.


Wei Hui has been regarded by international media as a spokeswoman of the new generation of Chinese young women. She has presented her work in a large number of Western and East Asian media and publications, including The New York Times, The New Yorker, Time, CNN, USA Today, the BBC, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Economist, Stern, Welt am Sonntag, Le Monde, ND Le Figaro, Asahi Shimbun, NHK and Yomiuri Shimbun.


  1. ^ SHUANG SHEN (letter to the editor) (May 18, 2000). "A Fine Line in Shanghai". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-02. Zhou Weihui's glitzy but in reality rather safe representation of China's underground culture in her novel Shanghai Baby has been made to appear much more prurient and dangerous because of the authorities' decision.
  2. ^ CRAIG S. SMITH (May 11, 2000). "Shanghai Journal; Sex, Lust, Drugs: Her Novel's Too Much for China". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-02. Zhou Weihui ... because she was under too much pressure from China's propaganda machine, which was busy trashing her best-selling novel, Shanghai Baby.