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China mystery blogger's novel a hit

world Updated: Jan 08, 2012 23:41 IST

A novel by an anonymous Chinese author living in America, which started life as a blog, has become a worldwide publishing sensation.

It has been snapped up by publishers who are impressed by the fact that it has sold more than a million copies in China and inspired a film by an Oscar-winning Chinese director.

Under the Hawthorn Tree, a tragic love story set during the Cultural Revolution, is written under the pen name of Ai Mi.

The author leads a reclusive life in Florida. She is thought to be in her fifties or sixties and her insight into the Cultural Revolution suggests her first hand experience of the political and social persecution of Mao Zedong's last decade.