Remembered best for his modernist works of short fiction, Mu is famous for the stories "Five in a Nightclub," "Shanghai Fox-trot," and "Craven A." Many of his literary works take place in Shanghai dance halls and focus on the alienating effects of modern urban life.
While studying at Shanghai Guanghua University, he published his debut short story, "Our World," and was subsequently mentored by Shi Zhecun (the editor of the journal in which the story was published).
In addition to short stories, he penned essays screenplays, and novels.
Born in Cixi, Ningbo, Zhejiang, he grew up as the child of Shi Cuifeng and banker Mu Jingting. He later married a dance hall worker named Qiu Peipei.
For reasons that remain unclear, Mu was assassinated by members of Chiang Kai Shek's resistance army.