About Me (关于我)

Welcome to 非漂 [Fēi Piāo]. My name is Bruce Humes (徐穆实), and this is the latest reincarnation of the blog I launched back in 2009 and have hosted since.  I’ve been commuting recently between Malaysia (Penang, Kuching), Taiwan (Tainan), Tanzania (Dar es Salaam) and Tunisia  (Tunis), thus the blog name update. Fēi Piāo is a play on words in Chinese, inspired by the popular term, 北漂 (Běi Piāo), used to describe  “drifters” to the north, i.e.,  outsiders who find their way to the capital in the hopes of gaining a foothold in that happening metropolis.  My blog title substitutes the word for north (běi) with the word for Africa (Fēi).Bruce Humes Jan 1 2015

Previous titles were Ethnic ChinaLit: Writing by & about non-Han Peoples of China and Altaic Storytelling. Regardless of whatever my current theme is, some 300+ Ethnic ChinaLit and Altaic Storytelling posts will remain accessible from my Home Page. You can also peruse several years of my comments on China’s publishing industry and the state of Chinese literature in English translation here (you’ll need to scroll down a bit to find individual topics).

Keen to experience socialism with Chinese characteristics back in the ’80s, I first took a detour to Taipei and Hong Kong but went on to reside in Shanghai, Kunming and Shenzhen.

Every few years I try to travel to another country, arrange a home-stay, and attend immersion classes in the national language. I’ve done so in Paris, St. Petersburg, Kyoto and Istanbul, and most recently, Dar es Salaam. Fascinating cities, all of them — if only I’d learned enough Turkish or Swahili to hold a decent conversation!

For well over two decades I’ve made a living as a China publishing consultant, export management trainer, market researcher, writer, editor and Chinese-to-English translator. You can find more detailed background on my published literary translations here.

During 2019, I will concentrate on translating two book-length works: Professor H.K. Chang’s travelogue on what he terms the “Greater Middle East,” published in Chinese as  大中东行纪; and Moŋgoliya (《蒙古里亚》 郭雪波 著), a contemporary novel of strip mining, quests for the Altaic soul and social justice, set in Inner Mongolia.

I’ve been interviewed about my blog and literary translations in The BTS Interview迟子建:从额尔古纳河右岸到大洋彼岸,  专访:海外译者提倡把话语权还给少数民族作家 and Bruce Humes and his Shanghai Baby.

Among my own posts, my favorites include: