Chinese bestselling author/race car driver/youth phenomenon Han Han has been accused of using ghost writers. A convoluted mess of counter accusations ensued.
It’s been an exciting two weeks on China’s microblog scene. Megablogger, rally racer, and novelist Han Han has been defending himself against science writer Fang Zhouzi’s charges that he didn’t write some of his most famous work.
Han Han (韩寒) closed out 2011 with a trio of overtly political blog posts in which he laid out his views on revolution, democracy, and freedom. Critics and supporters alike were surprised by the conservative stance exhibited in the three essays, which seemed to be at odds with Han Han’s track record of championing the rights of the general public against the selfish interests of the wealthy and corrupt. Nationalist-leaning commentator Liu Yang (刘仰) even suggested that the essays were written at the behest of democracy advocates and foreign interest groups in an attempt to step back from their open advocacy of a color revolution in China while laying the groundwork for further meddling in the future.
According to Mai Tian (麦田), a blogger and tech entrepreneur, it was an earlier transition away from personal issues and petty flame-wars and toward social commentary that led him to suspect that Han Han the high school dropout race car driver wasn’t the blog’s real author. Mai Tian bolstered his argument with schedule data that purported to show that many of Han Han’s posts had been made during or shortly before races. Critics countered that Han Han did not necessarily need to be in a state of zen detachment the night before a race, and Mai Tian’s data collapsed when other critics pointed out he had failed to account for schedule alterations.
[Han Han] offered a 20 million yuan purse and the copyrights to his entire oeuvre as a reward anyone giving conclusive proof of having ghostwritten for him.
READ: Duncan Jepson’s profile of Han Han for Publishing Perspectives