China’s moral decay: Q&A with Zhu Wen

Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore interviews mainland author and director Zhu Wen in The South China Morning Post

Zhu Wen hit the literary limelight in 1994 with his short story I Love Dollars, in which a writer chases sex and money in a second-tier city with his ageing father in tow. This month Zhu has a new collection of short stories out in English, The Matchmaker, the Apprentice, and the Football Fan: More Stories of China , translated by Julia Lovell. Like many of his works, it deals scathingly with the moral chasm left in Mao Zedong’s wake.

Much of your writing focuses on money and sex. Why?

In the past 30 years, especially since the 1990s, money and sex have become better examples to reflect a lot of societal issues or mentalities of society during China’s rapid development. The attitude towards money is quite interesting; in the past China didn’t have money. But as it gradually starts to have money, it lacks the education that comes with money.

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