“Last Quarter of the Moon”: Evenki Odyssey Captured in Chinese Novel Set in the Greater Khingan Mountains

My translation of Chi Zijian’s Last Quarter of the Moon (额尔古纳河右岸) can be ordered — e-book, hard cover and paperback — online at various places, including Amazon. Read the opening for free here (click on the cover), or the author’s Afterword. For information on other editions, see: Dutch (Het laatste kwartier van de maan), French,  Italian … Continue reading “Last Quarter of the Moon”: Evenki Odyssey Captured in Chinese Novel Set in the Greater Khingan Mountains

“Shanghai Baby” and “Candy”: Back When Young Female Chinese Writers “Wrote with their Bodies”

Just finished translating a new semi-autobiographical novella (synopsis), The Embassy's China Bride (大使先生), by Jiu Dan of Crows fame (乌鸦, 九丹著). This reminded me that at the turn of 21st century, three young Chinese female writers were busy boldly writing about their sexuality, orgasms and all, and being lambasted for it by the critics and … Continue reading “Shanghai Baby” and “Candy”: Back When Young Female Chinese Writers “Wrote with their Bodies”

“Funeral of a Muslim”: Korean and Serbian Rights Purchased

With sales of some 2.5 million copies, Funeral of a Muslim (穆斯林的葬礼,霍达著), Huo Da’s tale about three generations of a Hui family in Beijing, is quite possibly the most popular ethnic-themed novel ever published in China. It spans the turbulent years of the Japanese invasion, World War II and part of the Cultural Revolution. I … Continue reading “Funeral of a Muslim”: Korean and Serbian Rights Purchased

Extract: “Back Quarters at Number 7” by Manchu Writer Ye Guangqin

In Back Quarters at Number 7, Ye Guangqin recreates what it was like growing up Manchu in a traditional Beijing hutong during the early years of the New China. Once part of a prince’s stately residence, the Big Courtyard now belongs to the masses and serves as a venue for collective activities such as neighborhood … Continue reading Extract: “Back Quarters at Number 7” by Manchu Writer Ye Guangqin

“The Creation Story”: An Excerpt from “Canticle to the Land,” the Third Novel in Fan Wen’s Yunnan-Tibet Trilogy

The Story of Creation Long, long ago Sky and earth not yet distinct Water and soil not yet formed Darkness shrouding all. No sun, ho! No moon, Neither flower nor beast, ho! And no love. No Tashi Gyatso, Tibetan minstrel, For his wings of passion had yet to unfurl. --- Tashi Gyatso’s Creation Ballad The … Continue reading “The Creation Story”: An Excerpt from “Canticle to the Land,” the Third Novel in Fan Wen’s Yunnan-Tibet Trilogy

Author’s Afterword: “Last Quarter of the Moon”

 Afterword: From the Mountains  to the Sea   The birth of a literary work resembles the growth of a tree. It requires favorable circumstances. Firstly, there must be a seed, the Mother of All Things. Secondly, it cannot lack for soil, nor can it make do without the sunlight’s warmth, the rain’s moisture or the … Continue reading Author’s Afterword: “Last Quarter of the Moon”

Selling “Shanghai Baby” to the Hungry Masses

Writing in the China Daily (The Slim Years), Chitralekha Basu looks at how translated Chinese fiction has fared since 2000: The last book to have notched up outstanding sales in the English-speaking market is Shanghai Baby [上海宝贝] by Wei Hui (translated by Bruce Humes/Robinson Publishing UK) in 2001. The somewhat morbid tale of a waitress-turned-writer … Continue reading Selling “Shanghai Baby” to the Hungry Masses