Synopsis: “Confessions of a Jade Lord”

My co-translation of Uyghur author Alat Asem’s novel set in Xinjiang has now been published.  Here is a brief synopsis of sorts, taken straight off the book’s back cover: Confessions of a Jade Lord 《时间悄悄的嘴脸》(阿拉提·阿斯木  著) “Tell Eysa that he cannot live by drifting in the wind. He should return and live in his own … Continue reading Synopsis: “Confessions of a Jade Lord”

The Epic of Manas (玛纳斯史诗): A Multilingual Guide to Related Links

April 8, 2019 By Bruce Humes 《玛纳斯史诗》 The Epic of Manas A Multilingual Guide to Related Links General 《中国史诗》(Chinese) Comprehensive 591-page study of China’s oral epics by scholars Lang Ying (朗樱) and J. Rincindorji (仁钦道尔吉). Dedicates 40 pages to Manas, including synopsis, Kyrgyz oral storytelling tradition, manasqi. The Kyrgyz Epic Manas Selections translated, introduced and annotated by then Ph.D. … Continue reading The Epic of Manas (玛纳斯史诗): A Multilingual Guide to Related Links

Backgrounder: Mongolian author Guo Xuebo

February 17, 2019 Author's Bio Although he writes in Chinese, Guo Xuebo (郭雪波) is fiercely proud of his Mongolian heritage and was raised in Inner Mongolia’s Khorchin Grasslands (Hure Banner). Now 71 and bilingual, he spoke Mongolian at home and school until he was 13. He graduated from Beijing’s prestigious Central Academy of Drama (Department … Continue reading Backgrounder: Mongolian author Guo Xuebo

Nuosuo Poet Aku Wuwu: Striving for a New Language Born of Cultural Fusion

Aku Wuwu (阿库乌雾), a bilingual poet who writes and performs in both Mandarin and Nuoso (a language of the Yi people), advocates a new-fangled form of Chinese that more fully expresses his people's non-Han culture. This reminds me of the attitude of Uyghur author Alat Asem (阿拉提·阿斯木) and the Turkic-flavor of his Confessions of a … Continue reading Nuosuo Poet Aku Wuwu: Striving for a New Language Born of Cultural Fusion

African Literature: On China’s Cultural Radar Yet?

Can Literary Imports Change Chinese Perceptions of Africa? : My piece on AfroLit in Chinese is up now at Sixth Tone: Since the founding of the modern Chinese state in 1949, there have been three waves of African literary imports. The first, which emerged in the 1980s, was ideologically driven. Empowered by Beijing’s policy of promoting … Continue reading African Literature: On China’s Cultural Radar Yet?

The New Xinjiang: Traveling when Uyghur

In Navigating Xinjiang's Security Checkpoints, Darren Byler, anthropology PhD candidate at the University of Washington, relates his recent experiences in northwest China: Over the course of a week in cities across Xinjiang, I went through dozens and dozens of checkpoints. I saw young Uighur officers berate elderly Uighurs for not showing their IDs. I saw … Continue reading The New Xinjiang: Traveling when Uyghur

Altaic Storytelling Quote of the Week: Culture as “backroom bric-à-brac”

. . . of course, the Chinese government enforcing Chinese as the language of the whole empire is based on the premise that if these unruly people can be acculturated, they can become part of the larger whole. When they check in at the door, their culture (like the Kyrgyz Epic of Manas) is denatured … Continue reading Altaic Storytelling Quote of the Week: Culture as “backroom bric-à-brac”

English Excerpt from “Prayers in the Wind” (祭语风中) by Tibetan Author Tsering Norbu

Excerpt from Prayers in the Wind A novel by Tibetan Author Tsering Norbu 节选:《祭语风中》(次仁罗布 著) Translated from the Chinese by Joshua Dyer Edited by Bruce Humes Zhyiö Rinpoche’s body sat upright on a wooden bed wrapped in his frayed and faded robe. Peering through the thick veil of incense smoke, I could almost will myself … Continue reading English Excerpt from “Prayers in the Wind” (祭语风中) by Tibetan Author Tsering Norbu

“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

Synopsis: “The Embassy’s China Bride”

The Embassy’s China Bride Synopsis (By Bruce Humes & Christopher Cottrell) She’s an aging Chinese female novelist of cult fame banned for her intimate portrayal of women and their men. Her lover De Niro is a wild Italian hell-bent on motorcycles. Her other lover is the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to China. This … Continue reading Synopsis: “The Embassy’s China Bride”