Xu Guixiang was born in December 1959 in Huoqiu County， Liu’an City， Anhui Province. He joined the army in December 1978 and graduated from the literature department of the People’s Liberation Army Art Academy in 1991. He is currently the vice chairman of the China Writers’ Association， the director of the Military Literature Committee of the China Writers’ Association， and the director of the Department of Literary Creation at the Military Culture Academy of the National Defense University. He has written the novel collections， Scarless Bullet， All Beneath Heaven， the novels Elevation， Heaven of History， The Osmanthus Opening in August， Tomorrow’s War， Secret Service Company， Right Now Under Heaven， All Around， Fighting， and so on. Among them， Heaven of History won the sixth Mao Dun Literature Prize.
As a military writer， Xu Guixiang believes that the implications of war are extremely profound and there are many cognitive perspectives and lots of space for interpretation. War is an objective existence and it must be taken seriously. In the current world where balance is maintained， the Chinese military is an indispensable force. Therefore， there should be a more objective and sober understanding of the value of its existence and the people who live in this group， their feelings， fates and values. Military literature should provide visually pleasing， mentally stimulating， emotionally exciting and physically motivating literary works for members living in it. This is the basic responsibility of military writers and the writing ethics that Xu Guixiang has always adhered to.
Heaven of History is a novel that “writes people as adults.” Xu Guixiang casts aside the attachment of all social cultures and makes people appear in their original state. The main character Liang Daya appears in a less glamorous image： a young woman who has had a marriage arranged for her would rather hang herself because she does not want to marry him. After escaping from the Japanese army， he picks up a few bowls of radish stew and dried rice in the camp of the Eighth Route Army. After eating， he looks upon down on the guerrilla fighters’ broken guns. He is always planning how to get to the Kuomintang army to “have a go at being a regimental commander”.
Even though he ends up with the guerrillas， his motive is not resisting the Japanese， and nor is it for the revolution， it is because of the appearance of a young and beautiful female soldier in the Eighth Route. Then with a rush of blood to the head， he blurts out： “Well， let’s give this Eighth Route Army a try.” At the same time， by not avoiding the taboo of bringing up the initial non-revolutionary motives of Liang Daya， it is therefore possible to calmly reveal the process of personality contrast， contest， evolution， and identification within the revolutionary camp， which also gives the novel more complex and ups and downs， with lots of interesting twists and turns.
Another masterpiece with a wide-ranging influence， Right Now Under Heaven， which through a family’s eternal parting， a father and a son reaching the same goal through different means， a group of teachers and students parting ways， and the story of a group of characters’ joys and sorrows， surrounds the core issues of military literature： Why would there be war？ How to conduct war？ What is the ultimate concern for war literature？ Right Now Under Heaven is about tactics and planning. There is a lot of thinking about the nature of tactical problems. Xu Guixiang believes that the wisdom of war is just as important as the spirit of war. Bravery without planning is no good. He takes the protagonist’s understanding of tactics to the level of art. In the final analysis， Xu Guixiang skillfully portrays the characters and renders the atmosphere. The ultimate goal is to express with a strong artistic appeal the desire of the human heart – peace.
In 2017， Xu Guixiang’s new book Fighting was published by the Yangtze River Literature and Art Publishing House. This is a work he worked hard on for seven years. It is a majestic work， showing his strong creative powers.