Li Peifu was born in October 1953 in Xuchang, Henan Province and graduated from Henan Television University in 1984 with a major in Chinese Language and Literature. He was the vice chairman of Henan Wenlian and the chairman of the Henan Writers Association. He is now the Honorary Chairman of the Henan Writers Association and a member of the National Committee of the Chinese Writers Association. In 1978, he began publishing his works with representative novels includingDoor of the Sheepfold, Wait for the Soul, The Book of Life,The Guest on the Plains, and so on, and novellas includingBlack Dragonfly. He has also written more than four million Chinese characters’ worth of TV series and screenplays. Some of his works have been translated and imported into the United States, Japan, South Korea and so on. He has won many awards including the Mao Dun Literature Award, the Zhuang Zhongwen Literary Award, and the Flying Goddess Award.
Li Peifu’s early creations were mostly related to the countryside. He likens people to plants. The roots of plants are deeply embedded in the land and people have deep-seated relationships with the land. Therefore, he is good at exploring the cultural heritage, people’s hearts, and people’s nature of the Central Plains. The commentator Xie Youshun commented on his works: “Li Peifu’s novel subjects include power, and people’s hearts, which is much broader than power. His writing often sets off from the hinterlands of the Central Plains culture, with a mutual recognition of the urban and rural areas, history and reality. He writes about the broken lives and remnant beliefs on the land of contemporary China, and he has a sharp and sober understanding of the suffering caused by the superstition of power after the desolation of people. Just as his subtle, cold pen work is always asking questions, he is always questioning how life-enhancing circumstances can grow more vigorously.”
Door of the Sheepfold is an early representative work that made Li Peifu famous in the literary world. It has a grand structure and reflects the drastic changes in China’s history over the last 40 years. It has a powerful impact on the real world and is an earth-shattering read. The protagonist of the novel is the head of the Hu family, Hu Tiancheng. He is an “Oriental rural Godfather” type character. He has great vision and flexible skills. Based on his village’s situation, he has built a huge network of relationships in 40 years from the township to the county, and from the provincial capital to the capital. He sends everyone from the Hu family to the cities one by one to official circles. The county chief Hu Guoqing also has a profound practical significance.
Wait for the Soul is a novel set in a shopping mall. It depicts the demobilized soldier Ren Qiufeng taking over a state-owned shopping mall on the brink of collapse. He fights hard in the commercial world and with his excellent business abilities and the help of three beautiful women from the business school, the shopping mall miraculously re-builds itself. However, after his success, Ren Qiufeng cannot afford the temptation of power and he gradually loses his soul. His business empire also eventually falls apart.
The Book of Life was published in 2012. The author writes the story in the first-person, where “I” go from the countryside into the city to work hard there. With “my” experiences as the central thread, the author writes a book of the life of mortal beings over the course of fifty years. “I” travelled from the countryside to the provincial capital and became a university teacher. Faced with the difficult problems of having the uncle who raised me now and again sending me villagers that needed help handling affairs and the dilemma of love, “my” college classmates and “I” entered the business world after drifting northwards. No matter whether it is a college student or a villager in Wuliang Village, they are powerlessly moving toward their own opposites through the waves of time.
In 2017, Li Peifu’s other masterpiece, The Guest on the Plainswas published. The book uses Yuzhong Plain as the background to the story, and depicts the growth and spiritual history of Liu Jinding, as well as the turbulent life of Li Delin. It can be said to have written all there is on flower guests and people’s hearts on the plain.