I first became acquainted with Huo Da's name through reading her reportage "National Grief" and "People Regard Sufficient Food as Their Heaven". I enjoyed her works for I found her writings revealed her as an ardent lover of her country and her people. But I did not know that this versatile writer also wrote film scenarios, dramas and other literary works. Then she dedicated to me her chief work The Jade King, and I came to realize that she is a Muslim herself, a writer of amazing talents.
I know little about the Hui nationality, as I have neither Muslim friends nor relatives. All I know is the great attention they pay to cleanliness, their abstinence from pork, the white caps the Muslim men wear, like hose of doctors, and the existence of a Muslim district in Beijing and the Ox Street mosque.
The novel allowed me strange and original features. All the detailed descriptions in the novel are new to me except the passages about Beijing University where New Moon, the heroine of the novel, studies. The campus is the old site of Yanjing University. I am familiar with its Nameless lake, its pagoda and its pavilions and cherish profound feeling for it.
The Jade King is an exceptionally beautiful flower the garden of flourishing Chinese literature. Its origin style and moving plot have caused a great sensation, the depth and breadth of which every one else knows better than I, and I. don't want to go into details here.
So far as I know, the novel, slightly abridged, is now being translated into many languages and distributed abroad. I am most happy to hear this. I hope that readers abroad will realize that, amongst China's 56 ethnic groups, ten are believers in Islam, and among the 1.1 billion Chinese people there is a your Hui woman writer, who has written a book in Chinese about the life of the Hui people. Since its publication the novel has received much favourable criticism, and been acclaimed for its excellence. As the Chinese proverb goes, "It is better to see once than hear a hundred times." I urge friends abroad to read for themselves this unique book by a Chinese Muslim writer.