Three separate volumes of fiction in Chinese have just been published featuring the works of writers of three ethnic groups that have traditionally inhabited northeastern China and even further north in Siberia: the Daur, Evenki and Oroqen (Elunchun).
This is of interest because unlike ethnic groups like the Tibetans, Uyhgurs or Mongolians, none of the former languages has its own script and many of their speakers hardly spoke Chinese — much less wrote it — so until recently their tales were hardly available in print at all. The Daur speak a Mongolic tongue, while Evenki and Oroqen are Tungusic languages, the same family as Manchu.
Judging by the recent past, we can expect that some of these works — now that they are available in China’s national language — will gradually begin to appear in magazines specializing in Chinese literature in English translation, such as Pathlight. Up until now, English renditions of non-Han writers tended to focus on Tibetan, Uyghur and Mongolian originals.
The three volumes are part of a series available currently available only in Chinese, entitled 新时期中国少数民族文学作品选集, published by the Writers Publishing House (作家出版社). All three offer a retrospective of pieces published during 1976-2011, and at 400-plus pages, are pretty hefty tomes.
- The Evenki volume (鄂温克族卷) contains 50 short stories and extracts from novels by 22 writers, including well-known authors 乌热尔图 (Ureltu, acknowledged pioneer of Evenki tales back in the 70s)，涂志勇, 涂克冬·庆胜, 德纯燕, 德柯丽 and 娜仁托雅.
- The Oroqen volume (鄂伦春族卷) contains 76 pieces, with short stories, extracts from novels and quite a bit of poetry by 敖长福, 孟代红, 刘晓春 and 刘晓红 and many other Oroqen writers.
- The Daur volume (达斡尔族卷) contains 50 pieces by 阿凤, 苏华, 苏莉, 晶达, 傲蕾伊敏, 赵国安 and安晓霞, and many other Daur writers. As the Daur often live in mixed ethnic environments, some pieces were written in Mongolian or other languages and translated into Chinese for this collection.
If you are interested in Chinese translations of fiction by Uyghur, Kazakh and Tibetan writers, see here.