Louis Leung-yung Cha, known to the most by his penname Jin Yong, is the top writer in wuxia, literally translated as martial arts and chivalry, a genre particular to Chinese culture. It is a unique blend of the martial arts philosophy of xia, a chivalrous man or woman, developed down the centuries, and the country's long history in wushu.
Cha's fiction has a widespread following in Chinese-speaking areas, including the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. His 15 novels and short fictions-composed between 1955 and 1972-made him the best-selling Chinese author alive. Over 300 million copies of his works have been sold worldwide; more than 1 billion if one includes bootleg copies.
All of his novels have since been adapted into films, TV series and radio series in Hong Kong, Taiwan and on the Chinese mainland. The important characters in his novels are so well known to the public that they can be alluded to with ease between all three regions. In addition, the study of his work has created an independent branch of study called Jinology.
A native of Zhejiang Province in east China, Cha is the second of seven children from an illustrious family of scholars; his grandfather achieved remarkable success at the imperial examination. Cha was an avid reader of literature from an early age, especially of wuxia fiction, which provided him with a strong background for the ample dose of cultural and historical context in his future fictions.