Famous Chinese Writers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Cao Cao

Cao Cao.
Famous As: Chinese warlord
Birthdate: March 18, 0155
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bozhou, Anhui, China
Died: March 15, 0220

Cao Cao was a Chinese warlord, poet, and statesman. He played an important role in laying the foundations for the state of Cao Wei, which was formed shortly after his death. Although he was posthumously honoured with the title Emperor Wu of Wei, Cao Cao never ruled as an emperor, but kept Emperor Xian under his control.

 2 Liu Cixin

Liu Cixin.
Famous As: Science fiction writer
Birthdate: June 23, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yangquan, China

Liu Cixin is a Chinese science fiction writer who has won the prestigious Galaxy Award on nine occasions so far. He is best known for his novel The Three-Body Problem, which earned him the Hugo Award in 2015. In 2017, Liu Cixin won the Locus Award for his work Death's End. Many of his works have been adapted into films.

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 3 Liu Xiaobo

Liu Xiaobo.
Famous As: Chinese Human Rights Activist
Birthdate: December 28, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Changchun, China
Died: July 13, 2017

Liu Xiaobo was a Chinese activist, literary critic, and philosopher. He is best remembered for organizing campaigns that aimed at ending the one-party rule in China. He was honored with the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for his struggle for human rights in China. Liu is the first Chinese citizen to be honored with a Nobel Prize while residing in China.

 4 Zhuge Liang

Zhuge Liang.
Famous As: Military Strategist, Inventor
Birthdate: 0181 AD
Birthplace: Shandong, China
Died: 0234 AD

Zhuge Liang, or Kong Ming, was a Chinese strategist of the Three Kingdoms Period. Legend has it that he had supernatural powers and had invented a number of things, such as a crossbow that shot multiple arrows. His habit of living in seclusion earned him the nickname The Hidden Dragon.

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 5 Zhang Yimou

Zhang Yimou.
Famous As: Film director
Birthdate: April 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Xi'an, Shaanxi, China

Part of the Chinese Fifth Generation of filmmakers, Zhang Yimou is best known for his Academy Award-nominated films Ju Dou, Raise the Red Lantern, and Hero. His most expensive film, The Great Wall, was, however, a box-office failure. He also directed part of the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.

 6 Li Bai

Li Bai.
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 19, 0701
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Suiye, Tang Empire (now Chuy Region, Kyrgyzstan)
Died: November 30, 0762

Li Bai was a Chinese poet whose works helped Chinese poetry flourish in the Tang dynasty. Acclaimed as a genius, Li is credited with popularizing traditional poetic forms. His poetry has been influential from his own time to the present day. Along with Zhang Xu's calligraphy and Pei Min's swordplay, Li's poetry is counted among the Three Wonders in china.

 7 Ruth Graham

Ruth Graham.
Famous As: Philanthropist, Poet, Author
Birthdate: June 10, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Qingjiang, Kiangsu, China
Died: June 14, 2007

American Christian author Ruth Graham had met evangelist Billy Graham at Wheaton College, and they got soon after. Daughter of medical missionary parents, Ruth had grown up in China. She was an avid philanthropist and had raised her five children almost singlehandedly while Billy was mostly touring as an evangelist.

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 8 Jin Yong

Jin Yong
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: February 6, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Haining, Jiaxing, China
Died: October 30, 2018

Jin Yong was a Chinese wuxia novelist and essayist. He is credited with co-founding the popular Hong Kong publication Ming Pao, for which he served as the first editor-in-chief. Jin Yong is regarded as one of the most popular and greatest wuxia writers of all time. His works have been translated into several languages including Spanish, French, English, and Japanese.

 9 Lu Xun

Lu Xun
Famous As: Writer, Essayist, Poet, Literary critic, Esperantist
Birthdate: September 25, 1881
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shaoxing
Died: October 19, 1936

Lu Xun was a Chinese writer, poet, essayist, and literary critic. An important and influential personality of modern Chinese literature, Lu Xun's work influenced Chinese literature and popular culture after the May Fourth Movement. Mao Zedong, a lifelong admirer of Lu's work, declared him the saint of modern China shortly after his death. His works have been translated into English.

 10 Yang Jiang

Yang Jiang.
Famous As: Playwright
Birthdate: July 17, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Beijing, China
Died: May 25, 2016

Yang Jiang was a Chinese author, translator, and playwright. Yang Jiang is credited with writing several successful comedies. A prolific translator, Yang was the first Chinese to come up with a proper Chinese version of Don Quixote. Her translation is considered the definitive translation of the popular novel in China.

 11 Emperor Xuanzong of Tang

Emperor Xuanzong of Tang
Famous As: Ruler
Birthdate: September 8, 0685
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Luoyang, China
Died: May 3, 0762

 12 Mo Yan

Mo Yan.
Famous As: Novelist & Short Story Writer
Birthdate: February 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gaomi, Shandong, China

Nobel Prize-winning Chinese author Mo Yan is best known for his novel Red Sorghum Family, which was later made into a film. His novel Big Breasts and Wide Hips was dragged into controversy for its sexual content, and the Communist Party made Yan withdraw the book from publication.

 13 Sima Qian

Sima Qian
Famous As: Historian
Birthdate: 0145 BC
Birthplace: Hejin, Yuncheng, China
Died: 0086 AD

The first noted Chinese historian, Sima Qian is best remembered for authoring the history of China titled Shiji. The son of Sima Tan, a court historian of the Han dynasty, Qian traveled widely and was also responsible for modifying the Chinese calendar. He was later castrated for defaming Emperor Wu.

 14 Mozi

Birthdate: 0000 BC
Birthplace: Tenzhou

Fifth-century BC Chinese philosopher Mozi was the founder of the Mohism school of philosophy. He propagated universal and undifferentiated love, or jianai. Though originally a believer of Confucianism, he later drifted away from it owing to its ritualistic and elitist nature, and formed his own movement, which was more people-oriented.

 15 Liu Xiang

Liu Xiang
Famous As: hurdler, athletics competitor
Birthdate: July 13, 1983
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Shanghai

 16 Faxian

Famous As: Chinese Buddhist monk
Birthdate: 0337 AD
Birthplace: Linfen, China
Died: 0422 AD

 17 Du Fu

Du Fu
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: February 12, 0712
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gongyi, Henan, China
Died: November 30, 0769

Du Fu was a Chinese politician and poet. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Chinese poets of all time, Du Fu's works have influenced both Japanese and Chinese literary culture. While it is said that almost all Chinese poets have been influenced by him, the Japanese literature from the Muromachi period was greatly impacted by Du Fu's poetry.

 18 Su Shi

Su Shi
Famous As: Poet, Writer, Painter
Birthdate: January 8, 1037
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Meishan
Died: August 24, 1101

Su Shi was a Chinese writer, calligrapher, poet, painter, gastronome, pharmacologist, and politician who lived during the Song dynasty. He played a major role in the political affairs of the Song dynasty. He is credited with producing some of the best-known poems, prose, and essays and is considered one of the most decorated personalities in classical Chinese literature.

 19 Milarepa

Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 1052 AD
Birthplace: Tibet
Died: 1135 AD

Legendary Tibetan Buddhist master Milarepa perhaps earned his name, meaning “cotton-clad,” from the thin white cotton clothing he wore. The Mad Yogin of Tsang described him as someone who destroyed his uncle for betraying him and his family, and then attained a spiritual awakening as a disciple of Marpa.

 20 Mary Hayley Bell

Mary Hayley Bell
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: January 22, 1911
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: December 1, 2005

 21 Qu Yuan

Qu Yuan
Famous As: Chinese poet
Birthdate: 0343 BC
Birthplace: Chu
Died: 0278 BC

 22 Shiing-Shen Chern

Shiing-Shen Chern
Famous As: Mathematician, University teacher
Birthdate: October 26, 1911
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Jiaxing
Died: December 3, 2004

 23 Zhang Heng

Zhang Heng
Famous As: cartographer, mathematician, astronomer, anthropologist, mechanical engineer, philosopher
Birthdate: 0078 AD
Birthplace: Nanyang
Died: 0139 AD

 24 Qian Zhongshu

Qian Zhongshu
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: November 21, 1910
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wuxi, China
Died: December 19, 1998

 25 Shang Yang

Shang Yang
Birthdate: 0000 AD

Fourth-century BC Chinese Legalist philosopher Shang Yang was largely responsible for the unification of the Chinese empire under the Qin dynasty. His policies as a statesman included compulsory military service and centralization of governors. He also encouraged people to spy on each other. He was brutally executed by Duke Xiao’s successor.

 26 Zhang Ailing

Zhang Ailing
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: September 30, 1920
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shanghai, China
Died: September 8, 1995

 27 Lin Yutang

Lin Yutang.
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: October 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Banzai, Pinghe, Zhangzhou, Fujian
Died: March 26, 1976

Son of a Christian minister, Lin Yutang was initially supposed to join the ministry but later rejected Christianity to become a professor. His works include several Chinese and English books, such as Moment in Peking. He also introduced the concept of satire magazines in China with Lunyu banyuekan.

 28 Sogyal Rinpoche

Sogyal Rinpoche
Famous As: writer
Birthdate: 1947 AD
Birthplace: Kham

 29 Zhu Xi

Zhu Xi
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Youxi County

Song dynasty Chinese philosopher and historian Zhu Xi propagated a revival of Confucianism against the popular trends of Buddhism and Taoism. He had cleared the civil services at 18 and had started his career as a registrar. He is remembered for editing the civil service texts The Four Books.

 30 Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian
Famous As: Writer, Painter, Translator, Novelist, Playwright, Literary critic
Birthdate: January 4, 1940
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ganzhou

 31 Shen Kuo

Shen Kuo
Famous As: physicist, cartographer, mathematician, astronomer, poet
Birthdate: 1031 AD
Birthplace: Hangzhou, China
Died: 1095 AD

Shen Kuo was an eleventh century Chinese statesman and polymath, best remembered for authoring Mengxi bitan. Initially employed with central government, he had a successful career before he was banished on false charges, a move that allowed him to produce several scholarly books on mathematics, music, astronomy, calendars, cartography, geology, optics and medicine, out of which many were later purged.

 32 Wu Cheng'en

Wu Cheng'en
Famous As: Novelist
Birthdate: 1500 AD
Birthplace: Huai’an, China
Died: 1582 AD

 33 Mervyn Peake

Mervyn Peake
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: July 9, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kuling, China
Died: November 17, 1968

 34 Han Suyin

Han Suyin
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: September 12, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Xinyang, China
Died: November 2, 2012

 35 Su Song

Su Song
Famous As: cartographer, civil engineer, astronomer, engineer, diplomat
Birthdate: 1020 AD
Birthplace: Quanzhou
Died: 1101 AD

 36 Luo Guanzhong

Luo Guanzhong
Famous As: writer
Birthdate: 1330 AD
Birthplace: Taiyuan
Died: 1400 AD

 37 Xu Zhimo

Xu Zhimo
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: January 15, 1897
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Haining, Zhejiang, China
Died: November 19, 1931

 38 Ha Jin

Ha Jin
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 21, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: China

 39 Cao Xueqin

Cao Xueqin
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: 1724 AD
Birthplace: Nanjing, China
Died: 1763 AD

 40 Lao She

Lao She
Famous As: Novelist, Dramatist
Birthdate: February 3, 1899
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Beijing
Died: August 24, 1966

 41 Wang Hao

Wang Hao
Famous As: table tennis player
Birthdate: December 15, 1983
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Changchun

 42 Bai Juyi

Bai Juyi
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: March 3, 0772
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Taiyuan
Died: September 8, 0846

 43 Cao Zhi

Cao Zhi
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 0192 AD
Birthplace: Shen County, Liaocheng, China
Died: December 27, 0232

 44 Wang Wei

Wang Wei
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 0699 AD
Birthplace: Qixian, Jinzhong, China
Died: 0759 AD

Wang Wei was a Chinese poet, painter, musician, and politician who lived during the Tang dynasty. Widely regarded as one of the most popular poets of his generation, Wang Wei had a profound influence in the West. Many of his works are well-preserved and 29 of his poems were included in an influential anthology titled Three Hundred Tang Poems.

 45 Tao Yuanming

Tao Yuanming
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: 0365 AD
Birthplace: Chaisang , China
Died: November 21, 0427

 46 Zhang Chunqiao

Zhang Chunqiao
Famous As: Writer
Birthdate: February 1, 1917
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: China
Died: April 21, 2005

Zhang Chunqiao was a Chinese political theorist, politician, and writer. He achieved national recognition during the Cultural Revolution as part of an infamous Maoist group called the Gang of Four. He also played an important role as a journalist in charge of a popular newspaper called Liberation Daily.

 47 Wang Xizhi

Wang Xizhi
Famous As: Calligrapher
Birthdate: 0303 AD
Birthplace: Langya Commandery
Died: 0361 AD

Wang Xizhi was a Chinese writer, calligrapher, and politician. Best remembered for his extraordinary skills as a calligrapher, Wang is regarded as the greatest calligrapher in the history of China. His works were greatly admired by Emperor Taizong of Tang, who helped popularize his poems. Apart from being a popular personality in China, Wang also remains influential in Japanese calligraphy.         

 48 Wang Dulu

Wang Dulu
Famous As: writer
Birthdate: 1909 AD
Birthplace: Beijing
Died: 1977 AD

 49 Emperor Dezong of Tang

Emperor Dezong of Tang
Famous As: Emperor of Tang Dynasty
Birthdate: May 27, 0742
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: China
Died: February 25, 0805

 50 Yu Hua

Yu Hua
Famous As: Writer, Screenwriter
Birthdate: April 3, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hangzhou