African Writing in Chinese Translation: 2020 Round-up and a Peek at 2021

As Xi Jinping’s maritime Silk Road initiative reaches its tentacles further West into Africa, it’s not just accumulating alarming rates of China-driven debt and sucking up the continent’s mineral exports. Publishers in the People’s Paradise are now showing modest interest in importing what the authorities label  “cultural products.” In this case, contemporary African writing.  According to … Continue reading African Writing in Chinese Translation: 2020 Round-up and a Peek at 2021

Chinese Academics Ask: 非洲文学离我们有多远?

In a recently published essay at The Paper (澎湃新闻) two Chinese academics — one studying in Germany and another in South Africa — ask how a Chinese should go about getting acquainted with contemporary African literature. One suggestion, in case you can’t read indigenous languages such as Swahili, Hausa, Amharic or Shona, or colonial languages such … Continue reading Chinese Academics Ask: 非洲文学离我们有多远?

“Multi-ethnic” Literature: Yilin’s 2020 Cache of Fiction by non-Han Writers

As your year-end holiday lockdown fast approaches, it’s worth noting a new series of books by non-Han writers launched this year by one of China’s best-known publishers, Yilin Press — lit., “translation forest” — that is normally associated with marketing popular foreign-language fiction in Mandarin for Chinese readers. The name of the series itself, Library … Continue reading “Multi-ethnic” Literature: Yilin’s 2020 Cache of Fiction by non-Han Writers

“Cockroach” – Documentary on Hong Kong protests

Writes Peter Bradshaw at The Guardian about Ai Weiwei’s latest documentary: Cockroach is about the passionate pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, which was triggered by the introduction of the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill by the pro-Chinese Hong Kong government in 2019, exposing protesters to extradition to the Chinese mainland and effectively destroying that minimum of 50 years’ judicial … Continue reading “Cockroach” – Documentary on Hong Kong protests

Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast: Q & A with Translator of “Last Quarter of the Moon”

Angus Stewart recently interviewed me about translating Chi Zijian's novel that chronicles the tragic twilight of the reindeer-herding, Tungusic-speaking Evenki of northeastern China. The tale has since been translated into several languages, including French, Japanese and Swedish. You can find the podcast here: Episode 42 of the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast https://trchfic.podbean.com/e/ep-42-chi-zijian-and-last-quarter-of-the-moon-with-bruce-humes/ 如果你正在中国,这链接可能更合适: Episode 42 … Continue reading Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast: Q & A with Translator of “Last Quarter of the Moon”

Renverser ciel et terre, the French translation of Yang Jisheng’s 《天地翻覆:中国文化大革命史》

Renverser ciel et terre, the French translation of Yang Jisheng’s 《天地翻覆:中国文化大革命史》(杨继绳 著) has just been published. An excerpt from a French-language review of the translation: Yang Jisheng n’a pas pour objectif premier d’accuser ou de dénoncer : il cherche à comprendre en décortiquant les faits qu’il tient pour avérés sur la base de ses recherches et enquêtes ; … Continue reading Renverser ciel et terre, the French translation of Yang Jisheng’s 《天地翻覆:中国文化大革命史》

Three from China on “BBC 100 Women 2020”

They are Agnes Chow (周庭), Hong Kong democracy activist (soon to be jailed); Fang Fang (方方), author of the controversial Wuhan Diary (方方日记); and Uyghur writer Muyesser Abdul'ehed (مۇيەسسەر ئابدۇلئەھەد خەندان, pen name Hendan Hiyal), who penned Kheyr-khosh, quyash (خەير-خوش، قۇياش, Farewell to the Sun), the first novel to describe Uyghur internment camps.

丝绸之路语录:莫高窟以及中华民族的自由

“ 所以,莫高窟开窟和造像的历史,是一部贯通东西方文化的历史,也是一部佛教发展和传播的历史,更是一部中华民族谋求自由和强大的历史。敦煌在历史上有着战争的苦难背景,同时也有着宗教信仰的背景。越是在苦难的时候,越需要有信仰,也许这就是敦煌能够在苦难中孕育出如此灿烂文明的历史根源吧。” (摘自 《我心归处是敦煌》,樊锦诗口述,顾春芳 撰写)

Interviews with Chinese-to-English Literary Translator Bruce Humes

Chimamanda Adichie is leading the rise of an African literature wave in China (Quartz China) African fiction in Chinese translation  *  Popularity of diaspora writers A Glimpse into a Different World: The Millions Interviews Bruce Humes Translating Confessions of a Jade Lord, a novel by Uyghur author Alat Asem set in Xinjiang How a writer gives voice … Continue reading Interviews with Chinese-to-English Literary Translator Bruce Humes

“Manas” Onstage: Ongoing Moves to Sinicize China’s Three Great Oral Epics

A large-scale, colourful rendition of the Kyrgyz epic Manas (玛纳斯史诗) was staged March 22-23 in Beijing’s ultra-modern Poly Theater. This performance came just two days after the newly anointed President Xi Jinping, speaking at the People’s Congress, cited two of the three great oral epics of non-Han peoples, Manas and the Tibetan-language King Gesar. While … Continue reading “Manas” Onstage: Ongoing Moves to Sinicize China’s Three Great Oral Epics