Fan Wen: New Novel to Explore Culture Clash behind Kunming-Haiphong

Fan Wen (范稳), the Chinese Catholic author who recently completed his fictional trilogy spotlighting cultural and religious collisions in the "multicultural wonderland" of the Yunnan-Tibet border, now has another historical novel in mind. The first book in the published series, Harmonious Land (水乳大地), recounts the tale of a multi-ethnic settlement in Lancangjiang Canyon (gateway to … Continue reading Fan Wen: New Novel to Explore Culture Clash behind Kunming-Haiphong

Zhang Ling’s “Aftershock”: The Movie, the Screenwriter and the Part-time Censor

Director Feng Xiaogang’s gaze graces the cover of several publications this week, and indeed, the “disaster movie” genre in China may never be the same again thanks to him.  His adaptation of Zhang Ling’s Aftershock (张翎的 "余震") is mesmerizing the nation’s moviegoers, and this tale of the 1976 Tangshan earthquake that killed over 200,000 leaves … Continue reading Zhang Ling’s “Aftershock”: The Movie, the Screenwriter and the Part-time Censor

Fan Wen’s Yunnan-Tibetan Trilogy: A Catholic Chinese Author’s Imagination Takes Flight

The China Daily features a piece on the third and final novel in a trilogy exploring the border on either side of Yunnan and Tibet: At last author Fan Wen (范稳) has his reward for a decade of immersion in the multicultural wonderland along the Yunnan-Tibet border: Canticle to the Land (大地雅歌), the closing novel … Continue reading Fan Wen’s Yunnan-Tibetan Trilogy: A Catholic Chinese Author’s Imagination Takes Flight

Turkish Novels, Honor Killing and China’s English-language Complex

Zülfü Livaneli, the Turkish writer, musician, singer, journalist and member of parliament, recently toured China to promote the launch of the mainland Chinese translation of his popular novel, Bliss (Mutluluk), or 伊斯坦布尔的幸福. Now a movie as well, Bliss is a melodramatic tale of a young village woman who is raped by an elder relative. When … Continue reading Turkish Novels, Honor Killing and China’s English-language Complex

Interview: Author Murong Xuecun (慕容雪村) on his Undercover Role Investigating a Chinese Pyramid Scheme

Murong Xuecun has gained a name for himself through his unflattering vignettes of gambling, drinking, whoring and corruption in contemporary China. His best-seller, Leave me Alone: A Novel of Chengdu (成都,今夜请将我遗忘), prompted the authorities to convene a conference solely to critique the novel for sullying the Sichuan city’s image. But in a change of tack … Continue reading Interview: Author Murong Xuecun (慕容雪村) on his Undercover Role Investigating a Chinese Pyramid Scheme

Israeli Writers in Chinese: Via Hebrew or English?

A literary agent on selling Israeli fiction overseas: I can tell you there is no market more challenging than America’s. I sell more books in China and Japan than in America . . . Could be, and perhaps it's the quality of the translations into the Chinese. My girlfriend read Roman Russi (蓝山) by Meir … Continue reading Israeli Writers in Chinese: Via Hebrew or English?

Holden Caulfield and the Chinese Shakespeare Scholar

"Chinese youth, growing up in our Socialist Motherland and benefiting from the enthusiastic care and concern of organizations such as the communist Party, Youth League and Young Pioneers, possess high-minded Communist ideals, and a rich, colorful and dynamic intellectual life. Therefore, reading a book like Catcher in the Rye, and comparing one's own fortunate living … Continue reading Holden Caulfield and the Chinese Shakespeare Scholar

Ethnic China Chic: “Minority” Theme Parks in the Middle Kingdom

The instant I saw the New York Times' piece on China's "minority theme parks"---Disneyland-like affairs highlighting the culture of China's 55 "ethnic minorities"---I  knew it would soon appear in the Chinese press. But how would it be reshaped to render it politically correct for the masses, I wondered? Quite differently than I expected, frankly. The report has … Continue reading Ethnic China Chic: “Minority” Theme Parks in the Middle Kingdom

Newsweek via Cankao Xiaoxi: The Tibetans Have Never Had it So Good

In the run-up to Obama's White House meeting with the Dalai Lama, Isaac Stone Fish (Newsweek's Beijing correspondent) penned an interesting piece that argues that China's rule has indeed brought indisputable benefits to the Tibetans. It's all part of a grand "bargain": It's true that, so far, all the money has failed to buy Tibetan … Continue reading Newsweek via Cankao Xiaoxi: The Tibetans Have Never Had it So Good

Stephanie Meyer Red-hot in China: Could it be the Footnotes?

As of early 2010, Meyer's entire Twilight series---all four translated volumes---now rank among the "Top Ten Fiction Best Sellers" in mainland China. In Taiwan, they took the top four slots on the island's list of best-selling fiction. What's driving the sales: A newly acquired national passion for vampire romance? The image of the photogenic female … Continue reading Stephanie Meyer Red-hot in China: Could it be the Footnotes?