TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Best-selling author of over 100 books Lin Ching-hsuan (林清玄) passed away in his sleep on Wednesday.
China Times writes Lin was regarded as a contemporary spiritual leader. His essays often chronicled his daily life and interactions with religion following a spiritual awakening after studying the Buddhist sutras.
A number of authors and friends of Lin in the literary world posted tributes to him online following the news of his passing.
Born in Kaohsiung in 1953, Lin graduated from Taiwan Shih Hsin University and later wrote for both the China Times and its weekly subsidiary publication.
The author started writing aged 17 and published his first collection of poems aged 20, winning six consecutive China Times literary awards thereafter. Lin won numerous other awards throughout his career.
Lin moved to China in the 1990s but returned to Taiwan last year in order to celebrate the 40th anniversary of publisher Chiu Ko (九歌)—his first public appearance for many years.
His books are extremely popular in Taiwan; particularly the “Boddhi series” of essays, which fuse Buddhist philosophy with East Asian culture and aesthetics. The series has sold over 2 million copies.
In China, Lin has been dubbed one of the eight greatest contemporary prose writers.
Lin’s family confirmed to CNA that he died of a heart attack but passed away peacefully.