“The Map of Time”

A Novel by Sun Wei

“The Map of Time” tells of the different fates of twelve characters. It is a kind of portrait of a generation in China. From 1989 to 1992, these characters were middle school classmates in Class Two. At that time, they were innocent children and had sincere friendships among each other. But two decades later, in the 2010s, they belonged to totally different social classes, the powerful and the enslaved.

Zhou is the son of a high official. He has become the vice president of a state-owned real estate company. Great power and wealth are in his control.

Dai marries him after graduation. But their relationship is destroyed. While Dai is pregnant, B-scan ultrasonography shows that she is going to have a son. While Dai is delivering the boy, she has a difficult labour and has to have an operation. The situation is very dangerous. The doctor lets Zhou choose who should live, his wife or his son. Zhou chooses his precious son instead of Dai, as if Dai is merely a breeding machine.

Ye is a mistress of Zhou. She is also a former classmate of Class Two. Ye wants to become Zhou’s wife. In addition, she is longing for a kid of her own. However, for the sake of Zhou’s hypocritical public reputation, she has to live in the shadows.

Liang was once as excellent as Zhou at the starting line in Class One. After graduation, he worked harder than Zhou for many years. However, because he was born into a common family, all his efforts were in vain. He did not even have enough money to marry the girl he liked. His construction firm is on the edge of bankruptcy. He has to surrender to his fate. He cringes before Zhou, begging Zhou to place a few orders with his firm.

But Zhou does not even place a single order because Liang does not have enough money to bribe Zhou, like other businessmen do. Zhou sends him to Ye as a servant, ordering him to pay Ye’s bills whenever she wants to eat out. Zhou says, if Ye is satisfied with the service, Liang might still have the opportunity to save his construction firm.

In 2012, other former classmates of Class Two find each other via Chinese Facebook. They plan to build a Home for the Aged for each other. So when they are old, they will be able to stay together and take care of each other, just like the good old days in Class Two. This is an ideal plan which is difficult to put into practice, yet most of the old classmates try to execute the plan. They find land to build the Home and hope Zhou is willing to donate a small amount of national funds to build the house.

However, Zhou wants to take advantage of the plan instead of to help. He plans to seize the land and build a five-star hotel instead of the Home for the Aged. In this way, he will be able to make lots of money from the hotel for himself. Several old classmates join Zhou’s scam and assist him in fooling the others.

In the end, the eleven former classmates face a choice. Who will they serve? Zhou or each other?









“Find a Husband Before the Killer Finds You”

A Novel by Sun Wei

“Find a Husband before the Killer Finds You”, with the original title “Person in a Bottle”, is a whodunit set in Shanghai, a city filled with lonely people, many with hidden lives. A city pharmaceutical company has spent billions to develop a new antidepressant, but in Stage 3 trials, a patient dies, making headlines and threatening profits. Fourteen other deaths are uncovered, many linked by strange internet posts. Many successful, powerful and glamorous men and women are revealed to suffer ailments such as schizophrenia, depression, drug abuse and Internet addiction. This novel has won the Excellence Award of Chinese Writers’ Erdos National Literature Award.

This novel is set in Shanghai, China's biggest and most developed city. 

Paro Pharmaceutical, one of the biggest companies in Shanghai, has spent billions of dollars in a new kind of antidepressant called “Aidekang” and is hoping to rake in the profits when the drug hits the market. It is said that the new drug triggers a sense of happiness and security in the patient's mind so that he or she feels “loved”.

When the drug enters the double blind Phase 3 testing, Su, the drug testing patient, suddenly commits suicide, which makes it difficult for the new product to get approval from the State Food and Drug Administration of China.  

Zhou, an investigator with Paro’s law department, is designated to handle the case. She is 29, single, and about to join the “leftover women” in China. Zhou has an introverted personality, dating nobody and detesting real-world social contacts. As an Internet addict, she spends most of her time hanging around an Internet forum called “Just Want You to Know”.

The dead, Su, aged 35, who was the vice manager of a publishing company, was “beautiful and successful" in the eyes of her family and colleagues. However, she slashed her own carotid artery with a razor blade and bled to death in her own apartment.

Zhou comes to realize that Su was one of her own kind, a leftover woman. By coincidence, Zhou finds out that Su was also a registered member of the forum.

The razor blade found in Su’s dressing room reminds Zhou of an online disfigurement case that was heatedly discussed by the netizens. In that case, the victim got cut on her face. It appeared to have been slashed by a razor but there was no suspect nor was the razor found. 

As the investigation continues, which is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle, the real Su comes into being piece by piece, together with the fourteen other characters in the story.All these characters are inter-related because of the new antidepressant drug and an Internet forum called “Just Want You to Know”.

This forum is a cyber-society where lonely people gather to chat about their innermost feelings and thoughts. Many of the posts relate to the untold stories of the users, who are waiting to be noticed and read by the other members day by day- hence the name “Just Want You to Know”.

The police dig out the last words Su posted. Zhou discovers that they were posted after Su died, which means that unless there are ghosts in the world, somebody else must have posted them. Thus, she reasons, Su’s death should be treated as a murder instead of a suicide.

Soon another woman participating in the drug testing is found dead in her own apartment, who died in almost exactly the same manner as Su. At the same time, the ghost posted messages on the Internet forum using Su’s online ID to announce the revenge. This makes Zhou think that Su’s death is just the beginning of a series of cold-blooded killings.

Every time there is an accident, the ghost uses Su’s ID to post an update, condemning the victims for hurting others’ feelings, holding them accountable as if on Judgment Day. The ghost is careful and meticulous yet likes boasting about what it has done.

Zhou concludes that the ghost is probably lying about its motivations. It could be someone who believes it is immoral to use the new drug as a substitute for mental comfort. It could also be someone who wants to prevent the new drug from getting to the market for commercial reasons... 

As Zhou continues the investigation, more and more truths get exposed on the forum, which turns everybody that we know in our daily life into complete strangers. Those who seem strong turn out to be weak, the indifferent are passionate, the loving appear evil, and the happiest are sadly the most miserable. It is surprising to see that these seemingly successful people are actually tortured and battling loneliness. They are becoming more and more isolated due to their addiction to the Internet and reliance on drugs. Meanwhile, Shanghai serves as a strange backdrop.

Now that death has begun to strike, everyone panics that he or she has never truly been listened to by anyone in this world, as in the case of Su. If it were not for her death, which affected billions of dollars in profits for the new drug, who would bother to find out what kind of person she really was?

Evidently, the ghost is familiar with all these people. It must be someone very close to Zhou. Sometimes Zhou even feels it breathing, or following her, until one day Zhou finds that she herself has become the ultimate target of the killing… 









多情的“准新娘”在咖啡馆惨遭毁容,警方介入时,她却选择了逃亡;浪漫的女主编死于自己的公寓,她的父母却为何将医药公司告上法庭; 紧接着,又一位女白领倒在血泊之中…… 她们都聪明敏感,事业有成,却都患有轻度抑郁症,还都上一个“就是想让你知道”的论坛。她们都单身太久。 名牌大学毕业、二十九岁的预备役剩女周游,与刑警王小山、男闺蜜比尔联手调查,就在真相呼之欲出时,她却收到了凶手发出的死亡预告……

“Death of the Last Arcadian Village”

A Novel by Sun Wei


This novel is based on the author’s anthropological interest. For the sake of this novel, Sun Wei spent several years living in remote areas in China to learn the local rituals, customs, religions and to collect epics, myths and legends.

Bored with life in the big city, An Ning packed up her stuff and came to a legendary remote village at “the edge of world” after a long and hard journey. There she witnessed a tragedy of how the whole Arcadian Village, known as the last “peach blossom land” in China, was completely wiped out in just one winter season.

Among the local residents braving the sudden devastation, she saw an epitome of the human world – the frustrated old King Jiang Long, the lovesick Cabbie Ah-Man, the Insane He who wore a suit looking for leftovers on the ground, Boss Jin who was the secret patron of the Insane, the immortal Sixth Aunt whose name had been actually forgotten by the God, the beautiful Maid Du Juan who matured overnight, the young Monk Gaily who was born with the ability to read other people’s minds and the old Priest Antony who lived in a comfortable illusion of paradise.

The eight characters represent the powers, the merchants, the employees, the mad, the children and the religious practitioners respectively, whose legendary stories help interpret the major desires and obsessions of human beings.

It wasn’t the flood, which came on the expected date though nobody believed it would have, that devastated the “peach blossom land”. Ever since the village was open to tourism, the simple happiness and the peace of the village had long been fraying around the edges before the doomsday. The village recorded in the Death of the Last Arcadian Village is real. At a time of globalization and economic integration, the withering of the village is that of many of the Chinese villages in the remote areas in microcosm.

By exploring the exit from ‘malaise’, the author believes that real wisdom and eternal elegance exist in the cultures of ancient times when people had good relationships with their souls and the generosity of Mother Nature rather than suffering from the wealth they have built.








“The Confession of a Bear”

A Novel by Sun Wei

A Bear’s Confession tells of a story that happens in two counter-pole spaces of the same era. On one end, there is Shanghai – an international metropolis in theeast of China swarmed with all the hustle and bustle of modern-day life, while on the other end, there is Shucun – a primitive village on the outskirts of Yunnan Province in the southwest of China where villagers live mainly on farming and hunting.

China’s rapid economic growth during the past three decades has created great disparity between the costal metropolises and the inland rural areas, which has been a downside of China’s economic development nowadays.

The hero of the novel was Liu Kai, a white-collar working in one of the Fortune 500 global companies in Shanghai. As an ordinary office clerk who wore a pair of glasses and spent most of his time like a bonsai tree in the office booth, Liu was a shy timid man. He wanted to control his weight but failed in every attempt. He strictly submitted to the orders though his heart was unwilling to. Ever since he stumbled into a war of office politics, he had suffered repeated defeats, yet never learned to get the hand of it.

Liu Kai managed to find a new job after length unemployment due to the economic crisis. To protect the one he loved, he bore the insult and got involved in a PR event, which, he didn’t know, would eventually determine the fate of every employee of the company. He was tasked to deliver donated satellite phone equipment to a village where people led a peaceful life and worshiped the local wild bears. The day he got there, his car rammed a Cow Bear, esteemed by the locals as the God of all Bears. He was thus detained by the villagers and imprisoned. The villagers almost killed him in sacrifices to their Bear. In a kingdo m where the Bear was worshiped, people lived in peace and content. They lived harmoniously with their bear friends and treated each other with honest and sincerity. Gradually, Liu Kai was accepted by the kind-hearted villagers. At the same time, the conflicts in the Shanghai office escalated into a major war. Participants who could not outperform their opponents would be brutally trampled and kicked to the side.

When Liu Kai returned to Shanghai, he didn’t know that his sudden disappearance had changed the balance of two forces in the office fight. With the support from the villagers of Shucun, Liu defeated his opponents and surprised them all. He also got to play a heroic role in pursuit of his love. However, he began to doubt himself whether he was just a village bear fighting in a world of humans. On the other hand, what he did accidentally changed the fortune of Shucun and eventually led to a horrible tragedy in progress.

The Confession of a Bear










"To Where the Flowers Blossom"

A Novel by Sun Wei


To Where the Flowers Blossom is an autobiographical novel, constructed in the form of a travelogue.

It tells the story of a friendship between a Beijing documentary photographer and a Shanghai writer. The documentary photographer, knowing he was seriously ill, wanted to give up his treatment. He would rather take out all his saving and go to the borders of Yunnan and Tibet so as to shoot a documentary that he had always been dreaming about. The writer tried to persuade him out of his plans, but failed. She then asked him for a meal before he should set off. He called her a day before his departure and asked if she could make the date at noon the next day, because he had meant to set off in the evening. After traveling some 1,643 kilometers overnight by train from Shanghai, she arrived in Beijing early the next day morning. She met him for lunch on time.

From that day on, he disappeared like raindrops vanishing in hot summer days. No one knew where he was, or whether he was still alive or not.

Time was passing quickly and even the coldest days when mountain paths were closed by snow in winter had gone by. However, she kept faith with him, insisting that he was still somewhere in this world.

It was a custom between them to keep a watch on each other’s soul when the other went on a long journey. Like the two ends of a rope, if one end was falling down, the other would be pulled into darkness as well.

So when she could no longer feel him, she made up her mind to leave Shanghai again. This time, following his tracks, she took on a journey searching for him into the depth of the wild mountains and the edges of the remote forests. She hoped, somewhere on the way, she could meet with him again and get to see the familiar smile on his face.

Setting off on a journey is, of course, to look for something. Sometimes, it brings the hearts closer as it reveals the truth of life. Other times, a day lived is a day spent with the strangers we come across along the way without knowing what difference a day makes.

This novel demonstrates a hard, but romantic, living status of people born in 1970-1979 of China, a sensitive portrayal of the soul of the 70s generation. Known as “China’s last idealists”, the 70s generation received Confucian education, only to see most of the traditional values disintegrated as China is marching towards a more commercial society. Growing up in a period of radical social transition, they are destined to wrestle with the daily reality while, on the other hand, they can never stop searching for the Soul.

In this novel, Sun Wei creates an intimate portrayal of the pursuit, efforts and loss, dreams and dignity of her generation. Her sentimental and poetic style has greatly moved Chinese readers.







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