Ethnic ChinaLit: February 2016 Newsbriefs

Richard Bernstein reviews Perry Link’s translation of physicist Fang Lizhi’s autobiography, Most Wanted Man in China, and Ji Xianlin’s The Cowshed. (Enemy of the State)

International publishers, booksellers and free speech advocates have penned an open letter to HK head honcho Leung Chun-ying calling for him to defend HK’s interests in the face of China’s forced disappearances and detention of five HK-based publishing professionals. (Renditions)

The New York Times reports that Yang Jisheng (杨继绳), author of 墓碑, a controversial book on the Great Chinese Famine of 1958-61 — translated and published as Tombstone — has been told he cannot go to the US in March to accept an award from Harvard U for his “ambitious and fearless reporting.”  (Travel Ban

Writer and media critic Zha Jianying on Ji Xianlin’s newly translated The Cowshed: Memories of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (牛棚杂忆, 季羡林著). (Remembering the Cultural Revolution)

Perhat Tursun, le Salman Rushdie de Chine: En 1999, le romancier ouïghour sortait son Art du suicide et allait immédiatement être la cible de menaces de mort. Aujourd’hui, il se remet enfin à écrire. (Profil)

Liu Cixin’s much acclaimed sci-fi novel, The Three-body Problem (三体, 刘慈欣著), has reportedly sold 110,000 copies worldwide as of end 2015.  According to the report, this refers to the first part of the trilogy. The second, The Dark Forest, is also out, and the third, Death’s End, will be published in 2016. (全球销量)

Uyghurche ئۇيغۇرچە Уйғурчә | Uyghur language and culture for English-speakers features an excerpt from a translation of one of Memtimin Hoshur’s longer short stories, This Is Not A Dream (بۇ چۈش ئەمەس), as well as translations of a few others of his works.  (uyghurche.net

China’s ambassador to Bangladesh demands – and obtains his wish – that Last Words, farewell letters from

Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s ‘Last Words’ series after censorship

Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam’s ‘Last Words’ series after censorship

Tibetans before they self-immolated in China, be excised from the Dhaka Art Summit (Feb 5-8). (Last Words)

The obligatory annual round-up of writing by minority authors has been published at Chinawriter.com.cn. Yang Yumei, a member of the Dong people who holds a Ph D. in ethnic literature (杨玉梅, 侗族), follows the traditional format — writers are generally identified and grouped by their ethnicity — and touches on several dozens of non-Han authors and their 2015 works deemed worthy by the literary establishment. This year’s theme appears to be fiction that highlights the patriotic contribution of all nationalities to the campaign to liberate China from Japanese aggression in the 30s and through the end of World War II  (文学使命的新实践)

Chinese literature in translation: Literary magazine Pathlight to appear in Arabic, Korean and Spanish within 2016. (Beyond European Languages)

Ai Weiwei plans Berlin memorial to drowned refugees: It will use 14,000 discarded life jackets he obtained from the Greek island of Lesbos. Although smugglers sell these life jackets at a high price, they are usually poorly made and are useless in case of an accident at sea. (Memorial)

Profiling the Hui in Ningxia: Treatment of the Muslim Hui in Ningxia contrasts sharply with that of the Uyghur in Xinjiang. (Freedom to Practice Islam

Literary translations into Chinese gain global attention: Feng Tang’s new Chinese rendition of Rabindranath Tagore’s Stray Birds (飞鸟集, 冯唐) has unleashed a torrent of criticism. The Chinese publisher withdrew the book from bookstores, and Feng Tang dropped plans to speak about the Bengali poet at the World Book Fair in New Delhi. (Don’t Touch Our Tagore!)

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