Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Henan province, where the blood-contamination scandal that features in this book happened. He is one of China's most established literary writers and his novels and story collections have won many of China's most prestigious literary prizes. He is also China's most controversial writer. His novel Serve the People!, also published by Constable, was banned for satirising the Cultural Revolution and became an underground internet sensation. The Death of Ding Village was stopped in its tracks with a 'no distribution, no sales and no promotion' order. The risk to publishers are now so high that Lianke doesn't know whether he'll be able to find a Chinese home for his next book. Yan Lianke was awarded the Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize for his oeuvre in 2013.