Liu E (Liu O) 1857-1909

Best known for his novel Lao Can Youji (The Travels of Lao Can, 1906), a popular and important work of the late Qing era. Liu was a poet, musician, medical practitioner and entrepreneur, as well as a novelist. He was also the earliest serious collector of oracle-bone inscriptions. He was a native of Jiangsu province and the son of a minor official, but himself decided against a career in the civil service and became involved in various enterprises, many with foreign interests. He was exiled to Xinjiang in 1908, on trumped up charges, and died the following year.

Works available in English:

  • Mr. Decadent: notes taken in an outing (Yang Hsien-yi). Hong Kong: Tu Li Shu
       Tien, 195-?
  • The Travels of Lao Can (Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang). Beijing: Chinese
       Literature, 1983.
  • The Travels of Lao Ts'an (Harold Shadick). Ithaca: Cornell University Press,
  • Tramp Doctor's Travelogue (Lin Yi-chin and Ko Te-shun). Shanghai:
       Commercial Press, 1939.
  • Widow, Nun and Courtesan: three novelettes from the Chinese (Lin Yutang).
       New York: J. Day Co., 1951.