Lin's tragic early death in January 1996 silenced one of the most creative and dynamic literary voices in Taiwan of the 1980s and 1990s. Born in Taipei, Lin Yaode (Lin Yao-te) graduated from the Department of Law of Fu Jen Catholic University in 1985 and married the illustrator Chen Luxi in 1995.
Lin's writings, first published in 1978, encompass a wide range of literary genres—essay, short story, novel, literary criticism, drama, and, of course, poetry. He also received almost every major literary prize offered in Taiwan, was active in many poetry societies and journals, and was an important editor of literary journals and poetry series. His brief but extraordinary career has had a lasting impact on the development and study of contemporary poetry in Taiwan.
Poetry anchors Lin's works in the other genres, which tend to take lyricism as their mode of discourse, and certainly it is for his poetry that he is best remembered. Lin's poetic style ranges widely, yet there is at the core of all his writings an experimental, often difficult language that envelops a deeply conceptual, sometimes erotic-romantic, world. This is no better seen than in “The Red Chamber,” included here.