A 19-year-old girl has completed a biographical novel about Lei Feng, a soldier who devoted his life to serving the public and helping the needy.
The Song of Lei Feng, written by Zhang Tiantian and published last week by the Liaoning People's Press in Shenyang, is the first novel based on the life of the exemplary soldier who died in 1962 at the age of 22, after being hit on the head by a wooden column accidentally knocked over by another soldier.
In her novel, the teenage author gave a full account of Lei Feng's life, from his miserable childhood to his service in the People's Liberation Army and his help for the many people he did not know.
Born in 1983, Zhang started to write stories at eight and published her first fiction at nine. When she was 17, she published the world's first novel based on the Maya civilization.
"Like all my peers, I've been encouraged to learn from Lei Feng ever since I was a child," said Zhang, who traveled last year to Lei Feng's hometown in the central Hunan province, and the PLA Shenyang Military Area Command where he was a soldier, to interview Lei's old acquaintances and find out more details about his short life.
"When I sat in his former residence all alone, I felt I could see him -- a pleasant big boy," Zhang told Xinhua.
The girl's account of the soldier showed that Lei Feng would continue to enjoy the respect from the younger generation, who would carry forward his strong sense of responsibility and love for others, said Qiao Anshan, Lei Feng's fellow soldier.
China's late leader Mao Zedong called on the whole nation to learn from him in March 1963.
Encouraged by the Lei Feng spirit, many people do voluntary work, helping the needy by donating money, body organs and blood, or applying to work in the poverty-stricken western areas.