The satirist, playwright, and novelist Lao She
(1899-1966) was one of the most popular writers of 20th-century China. Rickshaw Boy
, which details the life and economic hardship of a Beijing rickshaw man, is often recognized as his most important work. During the Cultural Revolution, Lao She was branded as a subversive counter-revolutionary, and after suffering a beating by the Red Guards, he drowned himself in Beijing’s Taiping Lake on August 24, 1966.
This home is where Lao She and his wife raised their four children and where he wrote several of his last works. The courtyard is graced by two persimmon trees that Lao She himself planted in 1954, and they both still bear fruit every fall. In addition to newspaper cuttings, photographs, and other personal effects, the museum contains Lao She’s writing desk, with a calendar opened to the day of his death.