Chen Xiwo is one of contemporary China's most respected writers and one of its most outspoken voices on freedom of expression for writers. His novels are characterized by defiance and black humour but because of his refusal to compromise on style or content, he was to go nearly 20 years before his works could find publication in his homeland. In 2007 Chen bravely sued the Chinese authorities for banning his novella collection The Book of Sins, which is now an English PEN award winner. Chen also won the Chinese Literature Media Prize, with his novel My Dissipation. Chen once worked as a ‘mamasan’ in a Tokyo brothel and he now teaches comparative literature at Fuzhou Normal University.