The now-famous movie is largely based on a book with the same title. The book is the fourth in a series of five written by Chinese author Wang Du Lu. Most of the work on the series was done during the years 1938-1942. The author was born in 1909 and grew up in a Manchurian family in Beijing. As was the custom then the author’s birth name of Wang Bao Xiang was changed to Wang Du Lu. Wang Du Lu was almost entirely self-taught, and his life can only be described as difficult. The family was poor, and he was rarely anything but financially desperate most of his life. Like many of his age, he and his family were swept up in the Japanese invasion during World War II, the subsequent Chinese Civil War, and then the Cultural Revolution. At one time or another he was a school teacher, an editor for a small newspaper, and a clerk. The photos are likely from 1949.