Fangirling Chinese Novels

Featured Author: Gu Man (顾漫)



For those who are following Shan Shan’s story, I am sure you know who is Gu Man:) Yes, she is the author who brightens up our life with the cute and adorable Shan Shan. Since she is one of Lidge and my favourite writers, I am going to do a feature on her. This is also a chance for you to get to know the sweet mother who gave birth to our Shan Shan better:)

Silent Separation will be filmed into a movie as well as a drama in 2014. Gu Man is taking an active role in writing the script for the drama so hopefully it will turn out even better than the book as the roles will be more flesh out.  Just One Smile is Very Alluring will be made into a movie. Whereas Come and Eat, Shan Shan will be adapted into a drama as well as comic book. Zhao Li Ying and Zhang Han are the leads and filming for the drama Come on Eat has started in December 2013. Eventhough I love her books, I don’t think the storylines are suitable to be adapted into a drama. They are more suitable to be published as comic/manga or filmed as animated series. I have also included a few fan-made MVs for you to enjoy:)

Gu Man is a very popular internet novelist in China. Two of her books are ranked first (Silent Separation) and second (Just One Smile is Alluring) on the old online top 100 Chinese romance novel poll. Her third book Shan Shan Comes to Eat which is her latest book is ranked second behind Hua Xu Yin on the new online top 100 Chinese romance novel poll. Although her books are well-liked by many, she is rather slow in her writing with just only three books published and a few incomplete works:( Hence, her nickname is ‘turtle’. Anyway her name ‘Man’ also means ‘slow’ in Mandarin. Revision: (Book 1 of Blazing Sunlight has been published on 20 August 2013).

She used to work as an editor for a magazine called Cinderella. Thus, this explains why all her works have a ‘Cinderella’ feel:) What is surprising is that she has an undergraduate degree in accounting:P Who say accountants are boring? Heehee, Lidge & I are accountants:P I notice that the internet plays quite a significant role in all of her three published books. In Silent Separation, the second male lead is a successful internet entrepreneur. Many think he is based on the boss of Baidu? The male lead of Just One Smile is Alluring is an online game entreprenuer and he met the female lead while playing online game. Lastly, Shan Shan loves to play online game, probably just like Gu Man:)

u=3219609231,1759951476&fm=23&gp=0According to her profile in baidu, Gu Man is basically a lazy and slack girl who likes to hide in her shell to listen to music, sleep, write novel and play online game. The only exercise she does daily is to accompany her mother to go to the supermarket and stare at all the yummy and delicious food with her pair of shinning bright eyes.  She is not ambitious, just content with a turtle roof/shell over her head, sheltering her from the wind and rain, worry-free. Her writing style is warm and light, full of youthful feel.

Silent Separation (何以笙箫默 – He Yi Sheng Xiao Mo)


This is an urban romance novel with about 11 million words. Gu Man started writing it online in 2003 and took 2 years to complete it. The 2nd edition is published in 2007. To commemorate the seventh anniversary of the book, the 3rd revised edition is a collector’s edition which is published in 2011. A new epilogue on the leads’ son He Zhao, “You are my sunshine”, the sun which shines on my life is included. Zhao means shine in Mandarin.

The title of the book is a play on the names of the two main characters He Yi Chen and Zhao Mo Sheng. This book tells about a young love leading to a lifetime love. Sunny and outgoing Zhao Mo Sheng fell in love at first sight with He Yi Chen who was a star pupil in the Faculty of Law in college. She made every effort to chase after him, and eventually she won his heart. The novel narrates the unforgettable love story from their encounter seven years later. This book has moved millions of readers.

Some fan-made MVs on the book:
Wallace Chung:

Hu Ge & Tang Yan:

Hu Ge & Liu Shi Shi:

Hu Ge & Liu Yi Fei:

Wallace Huo:

Atsu & Lidge love this book with nearly every female who have read this book in China as it always come up top in all sort of online polls. Also, the male lead He Yi Chen is loved by probably most girls who read romance novels in China and aboard. Lidge likes this story so much because the main couple separates and is given a second chance.  When they meet again, the love still lingers, but each person has become more mature.  It’s the maturity that helps them recognize and accept each other’s strengths and weaknesses, which in turn helps them to resolve the misunderstandings/ bitterness.  In essense, they’re able to appreciate each other more the second time around. Also, the male lead continues to love the female lead dearly eventhough her dad indirectly caused the death of his parents.

Well, Hui3r & I are not ET but we don’t find the book or the guy that great. It is a nice and warm short book but I won’t rate is as number one because it is too short so some storylines are not well-developed or resolved. Also, I find He Yi Chen snobbish and bland with no sense of humour:( I can easily list 5 weaknesses in the plot but I won’t do it because this is my first Gu Man’s book & I like her style. Anyway, I find it sweet and touching for them to wait such a long time for each other & can remain true to each other. Also, the second male and female leads are not annoying at all but in fact quite lovely.

Just One Smile is Very Alluring (微微一笑很倾城 – Wei Wei Yi Xiao Hen Qing Cheng)


This is a contemporary romance novel which uses the online wuxia game world as its major setting. The leads met each other in the game world then met in real life and fell in love. It is first published in 2009. Gu Man won the best writer award in the 3rd China Internet Literature Festival with this book. There is also a similar short story called Mei Ren Yi Xiao Ye Qing Cheng and an epilogue called Ni Ni Ma (Mud Mother?)

If you are abandoned tragically, how will you respond when suddenly there is a very mighty and extremely arrogant man proposes to you? What makes a man fall in love with a woman at their first sight? Appearance? Temperament? Family wealth? NO, as the campus prince and game master, what makes Xiao Nai fall in love with Wei Wei at first sight is the scene of her pressing her fingers on the keyboard and her momentum as cool as a cucumber. In this way, a love begins in the short period of flower blooming.

Some fan-made MVs on the book:
Hu Ge, Liu Shi Shi & Tang Yan:

Wallace Chung & Liu Shi Shi:

Lidge & Xinn Xinn didn’t enjoy this book as much as the other two books because the “online game” parts are a bit confusing as they don’t play games online. Whereas Chancy and I like this book much more because we listened to the radio drama so it is easier to understand the game nature of this book. The wuxia feel when they are playing the online game is very enchanting and mesmerizing. Chancy becomes addicted to online game & neglects the book bar all because of this book, lol. For your information, the computer game that Shan Shan plays is invented by the male lead of this book.

The male lead Xiao Nai’s online name is ‘Big God’ (大神-Da Shen).  It sounds very cute when Wei Wei keeps on calling him that. He is very swoon-worthy, cool and has a dry sense of humour. There is one task in the computer game which makes reference to Louis Cha’s Return of the Condor Heroes. The book is interesting because of the blending of the wuxia & modern world. However, I sort of lost interest in the later part of the book, after they met each other in real life:( It becomes a typical love story. Nonetheless this is a very warm and nice novel.

Shan Shan Comes To Eat (杉杉来吃 – Shan Shan Lai Chi)


This is an urban Cinderella love story where familiarity breeds fondness. The book is first published in 2011. It also includes a comic booklet called Gui Man Jiong Ji. Gui means turtle. Jiong – 囧 originally means bright. But now, it is the coolest word on the web. Many young people like to use it in online chat). Ji means to record / to note / to remember / mark / sign. The bonus is that the leads in her other two books also made cameo appearance:) Gu Man also wrote an incomplete spin-off story on Shan Shan’s good friend Shuang Yi in Silly and Elite

It is a great joy to fight against the heaven and the earth. However, it is such a fool to fight against the boss. This book tells that Shan Shan, an office worker, under the management of her boss Feng Teng, repeatedly continues with the fighting, but finally yields to him obediently. This is also a happy and relaxing office love story between the boss and a staff.

A fan-made MV on the book:

This is Lidge & my favourite Gu Man’s book because it is very funny and cute. In addition, Shan Shan, Lidge and I also love to eat, lol. It is about food but mostly in the beginning. Although the plot is rather thin as there is no hidden secret, illness, evil supporting character etc, it is still a very sweet and hilarious story of a confused girl with a clever boss:)  Shan Shan is a dummie but kind-hearted. The story is typical blackhearted boss and innocent staff relationship.  What we adore about Shan Shan is she’s such a pathetic brown-nose. On one hand, she wants to tell Feng Teng off but she’s afraid of losing her cushy job so she ends up kissing up to him, but she does it so reluctantly, hence the humor. Reading this book make us feel very happy and warm, haha….

Blazing Sunlight (骄阳似我 – Jiao Yang Si Wo)


This novel has been released on 20 August but there are 2 books where book 1 is published first. It is hard to know who’s the male lead, whether it is the female lead, Nie Xi Guang’s college crush called Zhuang Xu or her boss called Lin Yu Sen. Both guys are awesome though. Zhuang Xu works hard to improve himself so he can be a match for Xi Guang, except they don’t communicate with each other so they mistakenly thinks the other person is in love with someone else ……..ahhhh the angst is just so heavy. Lin Yu Sen is like Dong Hua in the Pillow Book, it’s just plain awesome. His interactions with Xi Guang are hilarious and off-the-wall adorable!!!! (According to the fans in Baidu after reading the preface to the book, it is highly likely that Lin Yu Sen is the male lead. Yahoo, because peanuts is on camp LYS:P)

The beginning chapters detail Xī Guāng whose nickname is watermelon’s last days in college where she’s in love with Zhuang Xu, someone like the male lead in Silent Separation.  He is handsome and smart, one of the most sought after guy at university by the girls.  Xi Guang shamelessly chases after him until she finds out he is childhood friends with one of her roommates and they have some kind of “dubious” relationship.  Xi Guang is broken-hearted so when college ends, she purposely goes to another city and works in a company as a lowly staff.  Her boss is Lin Yu Sen who is like Feng Teng because he is very “fu-hei”. Their interactions are so funny and cute in that in their first meeting he caught her downloading a drama episode at work and she hid under her desk when she heard someone coming.  He walked up and saw her like that, oh how embarrassing to be caught?

50 thoughts on “Featured Author: Gu Man (顾漫)

  1. Pingback: 杉杉来吃 Come & Eat, Shan Shan – 顾漫

  2. Pingback: 何以笙箫默 He Yi Sheng Zhao Mo – 顾漫

  3. Pingback: 微微一笑很倾城 Wei Wei Yi Xiao Hen Qing Cheng – 顾漫

  4. I would say He Yi Sheng Zhao Mo is my favorite Gu Man’s story because I love to read about couples who are separated by misunderstanding but fate will eventually unite them again because they’re meant to be with each other.

    I don’t play online games so it’s hard for me to understand some of the technical aspects when I read novels in the online game genre. When I read Wei Wei Yi Xiao Hen Qing Cheng, I did feel Xiao Nai was similar to Robin Li, the founder of Baidu.

    Shan Shan Lai Chi was one of the first novels I read and got me addicted to Chinese romance novels because it’s adorably cute and funny so it’ll always have a special place in my heart.

    • Hey, you put Shan Shan as your fav Gu Man’s novel in SSB, so misleading:P Xiao Nai specialises in online game but Robin Li’s baidu has nothing to do with game. It is Ying Hui the 2nd male lead in He Yi Sheng Zhao Mo who studied in US who is similar to Robin Li?

      • Eh, I did? Well, you know my memory, here today gone tomorrow😄

        I meant similar in that Xiao Nai and Robin Li are Internet entrepreneurs, though the former develops online games while the latter develops a search engine. Both are young, good-looking, intelligent, rich, computer geniuses.

  5. Yo, Peanuts, I can so feel your love for GuMan, and I love her too. Some writers (I would say esp English ones) can’t seem to escape their own style, like if you’ve read one book, you’ve read it all. But GuMan seems to be able to do a day and night, both ShanShan Come & Eat and Why We Become Silent are world’s apart. I had a great time reading both books. I won’t comment about Just One Smile Is Alluring (what a struggle this has been for me) – it is not GuMan’s fault, but my very own.

    However, ShanShan remains as my fav so far, it has certainly given me uncountable sweet and cute moments, so much so that I’m trying to make myself more n more like ShanShan everyday. Emptyheadedness + silliness = bliss.

    But what about this other book, 网游之少年绝色? Is this written by GuMan as well?

    • Yo back, haha…Of course I love Gu Man, otherwise I would not translate Shan Shan:P Yes, Gu Man is quite versatile but she is super slow:( I guess it is her slowness that enable her to write quality and interesting books.

      Don’t you find Xiao Nai in One Smile is Alluring has a Godly feel haha? Isn’t the audiobook easier to comprehend the game part? Quickly read till they meet in persons then it’ll be offline.

      Shan Shan is also my fav book:) You can relive those cute moments by reading the English version. Ya, advertisement time now:P I know you want to be like Shan Shan so I changed your name to Xinn Xinn, lol.

      网游之少年绝色 is incomplete. Anyway it is an online game book so not your cup of tea:P When Gu Man release her 4th book, I’ll notify you immediately:)

  6. Pingback: 骄阳似我 Blazing Sunlight – 顾漫

  7. I like Gu Man because each book is different. The first chinese book that I read is “Sealed with a kiss” by Fei Wo Si Cun (last year) but I skipped half of the book and only read Tong Xue and Mo Xiao Qian’ parts. But I wasn’t really impressed, the best part is the epilogue. It’s “Come and eat Shan Shan” that put me into the “Chinese novels” world. It’s so addictive that I think I will go blind soon. >.<

    What to do now with these novels that only show me handsome, smart and rich male leads ? T__T hard reality. Beside going blind, I'm going crazy too.

    I like "Just one smile of you is very alluring". But have to say that it's more easy to understand the game parts with the audiobook. (Yes; some vietnamese audio books are awful, but it's ok, I'm lazy.)

    The story of "Silent Separation" is quite flat. But I love it like this. Don't have to damage my brain. =)

    • Eeeee, I am allergic to FWSC. I don’t really fancy Sealed with a Kiss bcos that male is just too scary. You should have just watched the drama. The only FWSC book I can stomach is Eastern Palace bcos I like the female lead. As usual the male lead is a jerk & the ending sob sob…..

      If you like Shan Shan then it means you like ‘white text’. Go to my bar to check out plenty which are funny & cute. I can get the Viet names and links for you if you need them.

      I also listened to the audiobook for Just One Smile. Heehe, sorry have to show off that the Chinese radio drama is more well-made with dreamy male & female voices plus good sound effects and nice songs.

      The only thing I like abt Silent Separation is that it is short & sweet, lol. I dislike wordy and angst authors. I like GM bcos she really takes the time & effort to write not like fWSC who churns out her novels like a factory production. Ya, GM is slow but she writes with heart so makes us really fall in love with her creations. Also, she is not a money-minded author as she posts nearly all her work online and tells her readers to read them first and only buy the physical books if they like them. I cannot read Chinese but I got 2 of her books and plan to buy another 2 soon:)

  8. I finally found an English blog about Chinese novels OMG
    I read all of Gu Man’s 3 books and I love them all. I read them in Vietnamese, and I tried reading Wei Wei Yi Xiao Hen Qing Cheng in Chinese too.
    I’m reading Come & Eat, Shan Shan in English on your blog.
    But I wonder do you happen to translate or have Wei Wei Yi Xiao Hen Qing Cheng in English too?
    I’d like to read it in English because it’s my favorite.
    Hope to get your reply soon🙂

    • I am also a Gu Man’s fan. Shan Shan is the only book I have translated. Since you can read viet and chinese, you do not really need English translation. Reading it in Chinese is the best as a lot get lost in translation. For your information, I cannot read Chinese and based my translation on audio reading. My next translation will either be he yi Sheng Zhao mo or if you dare to marry me, I dare to marry you.

      • I think reading in Chinese gives the best feeling about the books too. I just want to read in different languages to compare them a little ^^
        Anw, I’m looking forward to your translation of He Yi Sheng Zhao Mo.
        Thanks so much for replying me.

  9. Pingback: How Your Favourite Novelists Look Like? – Part 1 | Fanatical

  10. Pingback: Who is Suitable to be He Yi Chen in the Silent Separation Drama? | Fanatical

  11. Pingback: Adapting Novels to Dramas | Fanatical

  12. Thanks for introducing Gu Man books, i’ve discover a new author through your great translation of 杉杉来吃。

  13. Pingback: Adapting Novels to Dramas | Fanatical

  14. I never heard anything abt Gu Man before. Shan Shan captived me into Gu Man world and you are the guys to open doors for me at the end. I am Thai who dont understand Mandarine so I can only follow your pages day after day to know more about Gu Man talents and her lovely nivels.

    BTW, than a lots for your guys efforts translation in English.

    • Gu Man is rather famous in China & Vietnam but she is unproductive (very little novels) & doesn’t write ancient novel so it is understandable the Thai may not know her well. But with Boss & Me and You’re My Sunshine dramas, she is more well-known now.

      • And thanks to you wonderful people, others who are not able to read the books have you to love for bringing the translations so that we can love the books as well. Making Gu Man a wee bit more popular but ever so appreciative of you guys. 😄 ❤

  15. does anyone know where I can buy the books from the US? because I love the story that I want to keep the books

  16. omg i love one smile is very alluring. haha. its cos i played maple story which had a similar game structure to the game in the book. haha. i totally loved their cute interactions in the game =DDD

  17. i love GU MAN , i want to download all poster , photobook in all of her books but i don’t find . Can you help me ? tks

    • Search through all my translations of Silent Separation & Shan Shan & you’ll find all the posters. You can google for the rest or search from Viet blogs or facebook.

  18. I am currently reading 微微一笑很倾城 and am totally captivated by the simple and light plot! Almost finished the book in a day! Initially I felt cheated because I had assumed the book to be set in period settings based on its cover, but when the cashier informed me that it was set in modern times (she was trying to sell Tong Hua’s new modern-based novel to me, which I rejected on grounds that she writes period better, but that’s another long story), I was disappointed. Don’t have much good experience with modern tales.

    What a pleasant surprise it was! This is first RPG-based novel I’ve read. I’m not so acquainted with RPG, but for me, Gu Man’s descriptive prose managed to paint a pretty clear picture of the game site. There were parts which I didn’t really get…like how they rirode together, visited scenic sites together (coz the image of RPG = avatars moving around the screen), but it was fun to see how period parts and modern parts are woven together.

    Like you, I found the online parts more fascinating, and am actually growing a bit bored with the later part of the book which focused on the offline interactions. Hopefully something unexpected comes up to liven up the story before it falls in line with the other typical modern romance stories.

    Didn’t know it was going to be made a movie! Who are going be to in it?

    • Oh but I do have 1 complaint about the book. The female lead is the faculty’s beauty. =.= As are all female leads in novels. For Xiao Nai, I guess there’ no choice since he’s supposed to be very shen. But still……

    • Ya, dun buy TH’s modern novels bcos nearly all of them are awful. Moreover bad ending.

      FYI Gu Man plays a lot of internet games in real life so it is not surprising that she can describe them so well. After they met in real life, the book never really pick up any momentum. Due to GM’s popularity and the well-received drama adapted fr her books, this will also be filmed into a drama as well as movie. The cast has not been announced. GM is writing the script.

      It is inevitable that nearly all female leads are pretty. Some readers complained that the female lead in Wipe Clean After Eating is ugly so why the eligible guy likes her?

      • Wow is this following the footsteps of 何以笙箫默? I gave the drama a try but it was a no go for me. The book is still sitting around and gathering dust on my shelves. =/ I bought it because everyone was gushing about how perfect the male lead is, and I thought I had to read it to believe (for the drama didn’t work any magic on me), but after 微微一笑很倾城, I think 何以笙箫默 sounds prolly too heavy for me. =X

        Why can’t the female leads be just normal (like most of us are)? Fiction tends to take things to extremes: drop dead gorgeous, or kill her ugly.

        • What is wrong with 何以笙箫默? It is a bit draggy but if you only concentrate on Wallace Chung’s parts then it is nice lol. FYI I m a WC’s fan😛 U need to be patient with the drama. The male lead is not perfect but he is devoted. FYI it has been nominated in melodrama category in Banff Media Festival so u probably only like comedy but not melodrama.

        • Nothing wrong with it, just that it didn’t captivate me. Of course, definitely nothing wrong with Wallace Chung or Tang Yan either. Maybe it came at a time when there were too many othr options for me to be patient and wait for the entire plot to play out. I do enjoy a good melodrama – 千金女贼, even the twisted 千山暮雪. Well, maybe I’ll give the drama another go =X Or should I try out the novel first?

        • If I tell u it will be shown on MBC on 1 May will u change your mind lol?

          Everyone has diff taste so it is fine if u dun like the drama. Just that u’ve missed out on seeing WC looking his best lol. Actually the novel is better in that it is more compact & less draggy but u get more info fr the drama. I prefer the novel more bcos I translated it lol. But I also like the drama bcos WC looks so handsome & stylish in it😛

        • Finished reading the novel! How should I put it…It like the style of writing, very simple and straightforward, making it an easy read. But I felt like the character development could have been more. There’s so much potential in the story! The backstory of Mo Sheng’s ex-marriage, which I thought was one of the climax of the story, was glossed over in a single chapter, when the reveal could have been more gradual to play on the emotions of the 2 characters. It’s a good read, but I just want even more out of it. Anyway, NOW I think I’m ready to restart on the drama hehehe….

        • The drama is too draggy so don’t say u’ve not been warned😛 But u still must watch it just to fangirl WC😛

        • I’m at ep 11 or so, and they just covered chapter 3. s-l-o-w But nice WC.

  19. Pingback: T – Mafia Luerd Mungkorn –> Chinese Literatures –> Biafran War | Still Waters

  20. Is part 2 of Blazing Sunlight still not published?

  21. Hi!!! I’ve read both Shan Shan Comes To Eat and Silent Separation. I’ve also seen most of the postcards you posted in your translations. Do you perhaps know how I can buy or get some of the postcards without buying the books. I just need some kind of souvenir that I read the books, buying the books won’t do much for me, because I can’t read Chinese lol Thanks in advance!!!! ^^

  22. Hello, i would like to have a book of gu man but i do not know where to buy… can someone please advise me where i can buy a copy? Im a new fan….

  23. I want to buy the books even it is in mandarin.. can anyone tell where i can i buy books by gu man.. im going to enroll and learn mandarin this year for her books… please help me…

  24. Hi, after watching and reading most of Gu Man’s books, which I still can’t get over, I need to read another lol. What book would you recommend which has the same feel. I tried reading some other books but I just got bored.

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