In 1987, Chen Zhongshi, then in his forties, began to write his novel White Deer Plain. Work continued into 1992, a span of five years. The story tells of the hardships and spiritual pursuits of several generations living on White Deer Plain, mirroring the radical changes taking place in the Chinese countryside over a near-half-century. (CRI), (related link)
Introduction to "Bailu Yuan" ("White Deer Plain")
Its twisted plot starts with the mysterious successive deaths of the main character's six wives, implying the struggle for control over White Deer Plain which involved powerful families living there. As the story continues, the plot becomes more dramatic, with murder between family members, lovers turning into foes, hatred developing among brothers, and revolution urging the peasants' rebellion against landlords' suppression.