African Fiction: Exports to China on the Rise in 2017

Believe it or not, China imports more from Africa than just oil, diamonds and exotic parts of endangered species to maximize male, erh, performance (壮阳).

Fiction writing, for instance. According to my newly updated mini-database of African literature in translation — 非洲文学 : 中文译本 — there are almost 100 contemporary African works (mainly novels) now published in Chinese in the PRC.

Mabanckou: The award-winning Francophone novelist makes his debut in Chinese

Since the “golden age” of translation in the 70s and 80s, when the Chinese government subsidized translation and publication of writing from Africa in the wake of decolonization and independence, there has been a long gap during which almost nothing was published unless its author won a Nobel or the like.

But 2017 has yielded a bumper crop, with newly launched translations of 7 works from:

Alain Mabanckou (Congo-Brazzaville)

Boualem Sansal (Algeria)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)

Kamel Daoud (Algeria)

Mandla Langa (South Africa)

Nadime Gordimer (South Africa)

Take a look here. Note those with “2017” highlighted.

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