Hong Kong 'wuxia' writer Louis Cha dies aged 94

More than 100 million of his 'wuxia' novels found readers

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Wuxia novelist Louis Cha.

Wuxia novelist Louis Cha. (By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Hong Kong "wuxia" novelist Louis Cha, the best-selling Chinese-language author, died in hospital aged 94 on Tuesday, media reports said.

Cha, better known under his pen name Jin Yong (金庸), sold more than 100 million of his “wuxia” (武俠, “martial arts and chivalry”) novels worldwide from the 1950s until today.

Born in the Chinese province of Zhejiang, he was once expelled from school for criticizing the Kuomintang government of President Chiang Kai-shek. Later, his father was executed by the Communist regime for “counterrevolutionary” activities.

After launching his first serialized martial arts novel “The Book and the Sword” in 1955, he resigned from his job and went to work as scriptwriter for a movie company.

Between the mid-fifties and 1970, he wrote 14 novels or novellas and one short story, most of which were turned into movies or television shows, and were watched by millions in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. After 1970, he revised several of his works, launching a second revision process from 1999 until 2006.

His most famous novels include “The Legend of the Condor Heroes” (射鵰英雄傳), “The Heavenly Sword and the Dragon Saber” (倚天屠龍記), and his final work, “Sword of the Yue Maiden” (越女劍).

Apart from his literary production, he also found the time to launch the Hong Kong newspaper “Ming Pao” (明報) in 1959, and to serve as its editor-in-chief until his retirement at the age of 65 in 1989.