76-year-old writer documented the transformation of Lishui over the past 18 years
Foshan China 2023-09-06 15:47

Recently, a seminar on the new book Sweet Dreams in the Water Town written by a renowned writer Chen Yuzhou was held in Lishui, Nanhai. Vice Chairman of the Nanhai Writers Association, Luo Xikun, Huang Guanshui, Hong Yongzheng, as well as representatives of writers from Lishui, Dali, Guicheng, Shishan, and Xiqiao, conducted discussions and exchanges on this local work. 

Chen Yuzhou, is a 76-year-old native in Lishui. After graduating from high school, he worked as a "sent-down" educated youth in the countryside and served as a teacher. Later on, he returned to the city and worked in various industries such as architecture construction, machinery, shoe materials, and air conditioning. In 2005, witnessing the transformation of his hometown Lishui from a secluded ancient town to a thriving place, he was inspired to record the changes.

He spent 18 years traveling to every corner of Lishui, sorting and writing about the people, anecdotes, and rural revitalization of Lishui. He tirelessly visited archives to gather and verify information, and wrote many articles documenting the local customs and traditions of his hometown. Over 60 of these articles were included in his book Sweet Dreams in the Water Town, which was published in June of this year by Guangming Daily Press.

Xie Zeguang, the president of the Lishui Lily Pen Association, expressed that the book is sincere and rigorous, and it is a true local cultural work. It not only enlightens the local people, but also inspires everyone to love their hometown and arouses the curiosity, interest, and desire to visit Lishui among readers.

Renowned young writer Hong Yongzheng from Nanhai expressed that the book is skillfully written, capturing the essence of the local culture. In one of the stories, "Guardian," it depicts a century-old banyan tree standing by the pier. An aging traveler returns to his hometown and stands beneath the tree, feeling the changes that have taken place. He can't help but reflect on the passage of time, saying, "This is where I used to play as a child. Life is like a dream, and everything has changed. My hometown has become greener, more beautiful, and people have become younger".

Participants such as Luo Xikun, Huang Guanshui, Lin Zhaofan, Lan Zihua, He Weipeng, and Lin Xianqiang exchanged comments and discussions on the storytelling and creative perspectives of the book. They all expressed that the unique aspect of historical and local-themed literature lies in its pursuit of authenticity.

It is worth mentioning that, this year, Chen Yuzhou has been using mobile phone recordings to vividly interpret his works through storytelling. The changes of the times in the dreamy water town and the pure heart of the old writer are all vividly portrayed, creating a positive response in the literary community of Nanhai.

Member of Chinese Writers Association and national second-level writer, He Baiyuan, who was born in Lishui, wrote a preface for the book, expressing his love for the work with the words "The beautiful dream has finally come true".

Lv Xiaotian, the chairman of Nanhai Writers Association, emphasized the importance of telling the stories of Nanhai. He encouraged writers to immerse themselves in the lives of people, focus on key themes such as the struggling history of the people and the development of rural areas, and create works that contribute to the city's cultural identity.