Ba Jin, 100, one of China's most revered Communist-era writers who attacked the evils of the prerevolutionary era in novels, short stories and essays, died Oct. 17 in Shanghai. He had cancer.
Best known for his 1931 novel "Family," the story of a disintegrating feudal household, Mr. Jin also translated the Russian writers Ivan Turgenev and Petr Kropotkin.
Mr. Jin worked well into his later years, writing essays and compiling anthologies of his work.
He was part of the young intelligentsia in the early 20th century that looked to Western philosophies -- Marxism, anarchism and liberalism -- for solutions to China's social problems.
Born Li Yaotang on Nov. 25, 1904, in the western city of Chengdu, he later changed his name to Ba Jin, taking the first syllable in Chinese of the surname of Mikhail Bakunin and the last syllable of Kropotkin, both Russian anarchists.
Mr. Jin joined the Chinese anarchists as a teenager. He spent his early adulthood writing fiction and editing anarchist publications, and in 1936 joined the Literary Work Society, an organization of progressive young writers headed by Lu Xun. Most of Mr. Jin's heroes were rebels.
Another of his well-known novels, "Cold Night," published not long after World War II, tells the story of a couple whose dreams are shattered by the war and who become estranged amid disease and discord.
His biographer, Olga Lang, said his works were successful as much for their social importance as their literary significance. He wrote about the restrictions he knew from his upper-class upbringing and examined the plight of workers and peasants.
Mr. Jin said he wrote "to expose enemies. They include all the old traditional concepts, the irrational systems that obstruct progress, all the forces that destroy human nature."
Mr. Jin was branded a counterrevolutionary and purged during the 1966 to 1976 "Cultural Revolution," during which many writers and artists were persecuted and art was completely subordinated to politics. He was labeled a class enemy, banned from writing and forced to clean drains. He did not reappear until 1977.
Later, at a time when writers were beginning to take chances again and feel some security about their status, he complained, "Why is it that our writing cannot be at the forefront of world literature?
"Where else have authors in the world throughout history gone through something so terrifying and ridiculous, so bizarre and agonizing?" he asked.
Mr. Jin proposed that the government create a museum to the Cultural Revolution so that later generations could learn from its horrors and avoid repeating it. The suggestion was ignored.
His wife, Xiao Shan, whom he married in 1944, was a translator of Turgenev and of poet Alexander Pushkin. She died of cancer in 1972.