Wei Hui was born in Ning Bo City, near Shanghai in 1973. Her father was a prominent army figure, and this meant that the family moved from army base to army base when she was young. She studied Chinese Language and Literature at Fudan University in Shanghai, after a year of military training. Her first short story published at the age of 21. “Shanghai Baby”, her first novel, was banned in China after publication due to its explicit sexual scenes, and the publishing house was closed down. However, the Chinese authorities have now become more tolerant. “Marrying Buddha”, her second novel to be translated into English, came out in 2005, and continues the adventures of Coco from “Shanghai Baby” (named after Coco Chanel). Her name is pronounced “Way Way”. Wei Hui appeared at the Edinburgh Book Festival on Sunday August 14 2005. Chinese movie star Bai Ling is set to star in the movie of “Shanghai Baby”.
Here is Shanghai Baby's synopsis: "Coco is a Shanghai cafe waitress, full of enthusiasm for life. She falls in love with a young man, Tian Tian, for whom she feels tenderness and love but who is reclusive and impotent. Despite her parents' objections, she moves in with him. But then she meets Mark, a dashing businessman."
The Pen is Nastier than the Sword - Time Asia's extract from Shanghai Baby
Bridget Jones with Blow Jobs – Jason Cowley’s interview with Zhou Wei Hui
Shanghai Writer Challenging Stereotypes – the ABC’s interview with Wei Hui
Beatrice Interview – Wei Hui talks to Ron Hogan
Little Trouble in Big China – Peter Ross talks to Wei Hui
ChinaWN.com – features Wei Hui in its discussion of 20th Century Chinese literature
Woman’s Hour – listen to their interview with Wei Hui
Wei Hui interviewed – she talks to Sinead Gleeson
Cool Cha’I – in this interview, Wei Hui says that she allowed the Chinese government to edit some chunks out of “Marrying Buddha”
‘Shanghai Baby’: author of racy novel says she self-censored her latest book – a brief interview with Wei Hui about “Marrying Buddha”
Bibliofemme – their interview with Wei Hui
Novelist Wei Hui talks about book-burning, notoriety and Buddha – in her interview with John Freeman
Meet the Author – watch Wei Hui talk about “Marrying Buddha” in this video
Political Apathy of Chinese young – Wei Hui talks to the BBC’s Carrie Gracie
Afterthoughts on the banning of Shanghai Baby - John Sheng's perspective on the executive process involved
Asia Buzz: Thought Police - Terry McCarthy of Time Asia gives his views on the banning of Shanghai Baby
Writers born in the 1970s stimulate debate - "It is no secret that to know the author is a young and attractive woman helps sell the books," said Li Yunxiu... "As publishers, we must take the market into account."(Not much division from the West then – ed).
Bodies Melting into Words – The People’s Daily discusses “Body Writing” and “Beauty Writers”
Marketing Chinese women writers in the 1990s, or the politics of self-fashioning by Megan Ferry in the Journal of Contemporary China, Volume 12, Number 37 / November 2003
Shanghai Baby: Negotiating Youth Self-Identity in Urban China by Ian Weber in Social Identities Volume 8, Number 2 / June 01, 2002
Shanghai Cosmopolitan: Class, Gender and Cultural Citizenship in Weihui’s Shanghai Babe, in the Journal of Contemporary China Volume 12, Number 37 / November 2003