Backgrounder: Contemporary Ethnic-themed Fiction out of China

For several years after I arrived in China, I was treated like the “Other,” constantly quizzed on my nationality, what my compatriots ate for breakfast and my impressions of China. When visiting small towns or the countryside, at times I was ogled, which made me feel I was somehow, well, odd. That was a new experience for me!

One day it occurred to me that foreigners weren’t the only “Other” on the scene. What about those persons who didn’t claim to belong to the Han, China’s mainstream ethnic group? Estimates are that one out of ten citizens are of a different ethnicity, such as Zhuang, Miao or Uyghur, and that information appears on their ID card.

I began to wonder: How do they view their “Other,” i.e., the Han? How do their writers portray the effects on their people as they inevitably come into more frequent contact with the outside world, attend school taught in Chinese, or migrate to the city? And how do Han authors use ethnic motifs and depict minority characters in their contemporary fiction? I decided to explore these questions via new literature appearing in Chinese . . . (click here for full text)

非漂 [Fēi Piāo] Quote of the Week: What’s on the Curriculum for Students in South Africa?

Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 06.44.01

One tweet in reaction to the Abantu Book Festival’s opening tweet designed to restart the decoloniality conversation:

非洲文学:中文译本

非洲文学:中文译本

(包含大陆、港台等版本)

最近更新:2017.1.19

本 “迷你数据库” 刚开始建设,绝对不算齐全,只供参阅。至今,原文都是英文或法文的书籍,但希望将来能包括其他本地语言,例如斯瓦希里、科薩語、阿拉伯语等。“年” 指的是译著出版年,而非原著作出版时间。欢迎留言!

Leila Aboulela (阿布列拉; 阿鮑蕾拉; 阿布雷雅; 莉拉·阿鲍蕾拉)

Chinua Achebe (钦努阿•阿契贝)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (奇玛曼达·恩戈齐·阿迪奇埃)

  • Half of a Yellow Sun  《半轮黄日》(石平萍 译, 2010 年)
  • Purple Hibiscus 《紫木槿 (文静 译, 2017 年)
  • The Thing Around Your Neck 《绕颈之物》(文敏 译, 2013 年)

Ama Ata Aidoo (阿玛·阿塔·艾杜)

Uwem Akpan (乌文·阿克潘)

Mariama Bâ (瑪莉亞瑪·芭)

Ishmael Beah (伊斯梅尔·比亚)

Tahar Ben Jelloun (塔哈尔·本·杰伦)

C

J. M. Coetzee (J.M.库切)

  • Age of Iron 《铁器时代》(文敏 译, 2013 年)
  • Boyhood: Scenes from Provincial Life男孩》(文敏 译, 2013 年)
  • Childhood of Jesus 耶稣的童年》(文敏 译, 2013 年)
  • Diary of a Bad Year  凶年纪事》(文敏 译, 2009 年)
  • Disgrace   《》(张冲  译, 2010 年)
  • In the Heart of the Country内陆深处》(文敏 译, 2007 年)
  • Life & Times of Michael K迈克尔·K 的生活和时代》(文敏 译, 2004 年)
  • Summertime夏日》(文敏 译, 2010 年)
  • Waiting for the Barbarians  《等待野蛮人》(文敏 译, 2003 年)

[Read more…]

非漂 [Fēi Piāo] January 2017 Newsbriefs

Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built is the business book that most inspired Nigeria’sthe-house-that-jack-ma-built
Iyinoluwa ‘E’ Aboyeji — co-founder of Flutterwave and Andela — last year: There are so many parallels between the intrigues of startups in China and our nascent African Startup ecosystem, he says.

Evan Mwangi reviews John Mugane’s The Story of Swahili and Alamin Mazrui’s The Cultural Politics of Translation: East Africa in Global Contexts, and wonders: Is it time for a slave rebellion in Swahili literary studies?

Etisalat Nigeria has announced the shortlist for the 2016 edition of its pan-African literary prize, the Etisalat Prize for Literature: The Seed Thief (Jacqui L’Ange, South Africa); And After Many Days (Jowhor Ile, Nigeria); Mr & Mrs Doctor (Julie Iromuanya, Nigeria).

Pwaangulongii Dauod tells us How to Write about Northern Nigeria: Your main character should be an imam, or a beggar, or farmer, or a herdsman. Or, all of it. But must be an illiterate and a Muslim who is not interested in science and technology.

 
jamal-by-alkibar-jrThe attempt by terrorists to impose Sharia law upon northern Mali resulted in the mass exodus of many musicians who had made the region famous. But music has returned to the north, and this is a review of Jamal, the first album by the new Malian group Alkibar Jr. that hails from Niafunké. Elements of Songhai, Peuhl and Tamasheq rock/blues figure on the disc.

 

African Theatre 15: China, India & the Eastern World: Newly available volume focuses on China, and features topics such as: How the PRC is  using “soft power” in its extensive engagement with South Africa, and, through its support for theatre festivals, with Lusophone countries in Africa; Construction of theatres, opera houses and cultural facilities as part of its foreign aid programs in Algeria, Cameroon, Mauritius, Ghana and Senegal; and what China is “importing” culturally from Africa.

奇玛曼达·恩戈兹·阿迪契小说 《紫木槿》 出版了:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the high-profile female Nigerian novelist who is spending much of紫木槿 her time in the US, now has at least three of her works out in Chinese. The
latest, published in January 2017, is her novel, Purple Hibiscus. The other two are The Thing Around Your Neck (绕颈之物) and Half a Yellow Sun (半轮黄日).

非漂 [Fēi Piāo] Quote of the Week: On Swahili Literature Denigrating Slaves

Much of Swahili literature, including proverbs and canonical works like Utendi wa Mwana Kupona, denigrate watumwa (slaves) as if blacks were not forcibly captured, raped, castrated, and uprooted from their cultures. The casualness with which slavery is treated, even by progressive poets like Muyaka, is the biggest scandal in Swahili letters.

(Evan Mwangi, in his essay We Need a Slave Rebellion in Literary Studies of Swahili, that reviews two books, The Story of Swahili and The Cultural Politics of Translation: East Africa in Global Contexts)

Ece Temelkuran: Novels by Provocative Turkish Writer Coming Soon to China

专访|土耳其作家伊切:伊斯坦布尔是帝国,安卡拉是共和国

In a welcome move to break the near-monopoly of fiction sourced from a familiar pool of American, European and Japanese writers, a batch of new Turkish works will be appearing in bookstores throughout China in 2017. And they won’t be limited to further releases by Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, whose name is virtually synonymous with Istanbul among Chinese readers, or Turkey’s most popular female novelist Elif Şafak (The Bastard of Istanbul).

One of the fresh faces coming to China is Ece Temelkuran’s. Notably, she will have not one but three books — including two novels — out in Chinese within

Ece Temelkuran: Turkish novelist, political commentator and investigative journalist

Ece Temelkuran: Turkish novelist, political commentator and investigative journalist

2017. The first of these, 香蕉的低语 (Banana Sounds), set in war-torn Beirut, launched in October 2016. Now under translation are a novel about four women motoring across North Africa, 《下诅咒的女人》(暂译)(Why Have a Revolution if I Can’t Dance), and a book-length exploration of “Turkishness,” intriguingly entitled 我的祖国:土耳其的疯狂与忧愁 (Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy).

At long last, Turkey’s most classic novel of the 20th century, The Time Regulation Institute, was published in Chinese earlier this year (时间调校研究所). Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar’s satirical look at the effects of a social engineering project gone awry — in which the Turkish authorities urge the public to jettison its Ottoman culture and ape the West no matter how bizarre the result — has been rendered by a German-based Chinese translator, Tan Lin (谭琳). Regrettably, the Chinese is based upon the German translation of Tanpınar’s original; indeed, there is a dearth of well-trained Turkish-Chinese literary translators, though several of Pamuk’s novels have been translated from the Turkish for Horizon Books.

%e9%a6%99%e8%95%89%e7%9a%84%e4%bd%8e%e8%af%adThe Time Regulation Institute joins a series of five Chinese renditions of contemporary Turkish novels already published by Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing (土耳其当代文学丛书). They include novels by some of Turkey’s best known living writers, such as Oya Baydar and Mario Levi. An additional four Turkish novels will join the series in 2017. They are: The Dervish Gate by Ahmet Ümit (托钵僧之门); Hakan Günday’s The Few (黑暗边缘); Hakan Bıçakçı’s Dark Room (黑屋), and Secrets Dreamed in Istanbul (伊斯坦布尔寻梦记,暂译) by Nermin Yıldırım. [Read more…]

Mini-database: Modern Turkish Literature in Translation (当代土耳其文学译著迷你数据库)

Updated: Nov 30, 2016

当代土耳其作家、原作品与其翻译版本书名

20th-21st Century Turkish Authors 

Turkish Titles

Translations into West European Languages & Chinese

A

Sait Faik Abasıyanık

Pir Sultan Abdal

Neslihan Acu

Mehmet Açar

Bilgin Adalı

Halide Edip Adıvar (哈莉黛·埃迪布·阿迪瓦尔)

Erhan Afyoncu 

Adalet Ağaoğlu

Beyazit Akman

[Read more…]

非漂 [Fēi Piāo] Quote of the Week: No “Whitewashing” Worries

“Cassava Republic is taking our literature to the world, as opposed to bringing literature curated by foreign publishers to the continent. This is remarkable,” he says. “I have always said that to correct the narrative about ‘Africa’, to tell our own story, we must be in charge of the production of our narratives, we must own the means of production.

“With Cassava I do not have to worry about a foreign editor ‘whitewashing’ my manuscript for an international audience until it is barely recognisable to the people where the story is set. I know that Cassava knows what I am trying to do and has the same vision for the integrity of narrative as I do.”

(Author Mr. John, cited in an interview about Cassava’s new subsidiary in London, Publisher’s Expansion Brings Nigerian Writers to World Stage)

“Hiraeth,” Speaking in Tongues, and Penang’s Georgetown Literary Festival (Nov 25-27)

georgetown-literary-festivalI will be one of four translators taking part in Speaking in Tongues: The Art and Craft of Translation on Saturday November 26 at the “Georgetown Literary Festival” in Penang. Our panel will be moderated by Gareth Richards, and fellow translators will be Pauline Fan, Jérome Bouchard and Muhammad Haji Salleh.

You can check out the full festival program here.

Intriguingly, the theme for this year’s festival is hiraeth, a Welsh term that Wikipedia defines as:

Homesickness tinged with grief or sadness over the lost or departed . . . a mix of longing, yearning, nostalgia, wistfulness . . . for the Wales of the past. 

We can assume that the Wales part of the formula won’t be the focal point, since nostalgia for British colonial rule is not a mainstream sentiment here. At least, I don’t think so.

I was pleased to find an essay by Malaysian feminist Zainah Anwar in the first few pages of the handbook, suggesting that this festival is not intended as an ivory tower event for the local intellectual elite. Trump and the Red Shirts of Malaysia both got a mention, for one. Have a read: [Read more…]

非漂 [Fēi Piāo] November 2016 Newsbriefs

guangzhous-little-africaHard times for Africans in Guangzhou amid crackdown. Complains one resident of ‘Little Africa’: It seems they want the Africans to leave this area . . . every month now, I have to go to the police station [to register], every month. I feel like I’m in jail.

The judging panel for the 2016 Etisalat Prize for Literature has announced the 2016 longlist of nine books: Mr. and Mrs. Doctor by Julie Iromuanya; The Yearning by Mohale Mashigo; Piggy Boy’s Blues by Nakhane Toure; The Peculiars by Jen Thorpe; Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John; And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile; Dub Steps by Andrew Miller; The Seed Thief by Jacqui L’Ange, and Nwezelenga: The Star Child by Unathi Magubeni. The winner will be announced in March 2017 and will receive £15,000.

Okot p’Bitek’s Song of Lawino, which celebrated its 50th anniversary with a song-of-lawinogrand celebration at Makerere University early this year, is being translated into Sheng. Sheng is a Swahili and English-based creole that has spread across social classes and geographically to neighbouring Tanzania and Uganda. Many youth living in the Nairobi use the argot as their everyday mode of communication rather than Swahili or English.

 

Ethiopia’s internet is among the least free in the world, ranking ahead of only Iran, Syria, and China out of the 65 countries surveyed.

蒙古帝国为什么没有统治非洲?

Attention: Ce taxi contient un livre. Taxis in Tunis are taking part in an online literary initiative launched by online book-sharing platform YallaRead (“Come on, Read” in Arabic).

Chinese Literature in Africa: Meaningful or Simply Ceremonial? 

Interview with Louise Umutoni, founder and director of Rwanda’s Huza Press. Winner of The Huza Prize for Fiction — short story submissions accepted through end November — will be awarded US$1,000.

Magunga.com: Fledgling Online Pan-African Bookstore