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Open Access Thesis

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Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Often hailed as “China’s Stephen King,” Chinese psychological suspense author Cai Jun occupies a position at the peak of the new wave of young authors flooding China’s popular literature market. In order to understand Cai’s popularity as an author, the impact his works and writing have on this market, and how he creates his particular brand of suspense fiction, it is both necessary to put his works into a larger context and analyze his writing. This thesis provides a brief overview of the recent literary scene in China, from the rise of internet literature and the comeback of genre fiction to the advent of mooks, the evolution of young adult literature, and the development of the author marketing industry, and also addresses the “pure vs. popular” controversy in China’s literary world, identifies how Cai fits into these trends, and determines who Cai is as a writer in terms of genre, story content, and literary reception through the translation and analysis of Cai’s short story “Kidnapped.”


First Advisor

Enhua Zhang

Second Advisor

David K. Schneider

Third Advisor

Zhongwei Shen

Available for download on Thursday, May 11, 2023