“Soft Burial”, novelist Fang Fang and land reform in China.

A good novel has just been published, translated with talent by Brigitte Duzan, assisted by Zhang Xiaoqiu, “Funérailles Molles” (1), immerses us in China’s land reform.

Fang Fang is a Chinese novelist known for her neo-realistic novels and her love for the city of Wuhan. Born in 1955, she grew up in Wuhan, finished high school in 1974 and then had to work for four years in a factory. At the end of the Cultural … Lire la suite

Li Ang, literature, sex and power in Taiwan (2).

The previous article dealt with Li Ang’s career and the short stories available in English and French. We will now comment on her three translated novels (1,2,3) which had a great impact.

–         “The Butcher’s Wife” (1)      

After a stay in the United States and a degree in theatre studies at the University of Oregon, she met the great novelist Bai Xianyong in California and read in “Anecdotes of Old Shanghai”, the true story of … Lire la suite

Li Ang, literature, sex and power in Taiwan

Li Ang is a Taiwanese writer known abroad, but the translations into French and English only give a very limited idea of her fifty years of literary activity. This is especially the case for her short stories, which will be examined in connection with her career by reserving the three translated novels (3,4,5) for a future article.

– A childhood in Lugang and the first controversies:

 

Lugang was one of the most important cities in … Lire la suite

Taiwan is not China, “nativist literature”.

A few days ago, we mentioned “The Historical Anthology of Modern Taiwanese Literature”, four volumes under the direction of Isabelle Rabut, professor at INALCO and Angel Pino, professor at the University of Bordeaux Montaigne. The last two volumes, “De fard et de sang” and “Félix s’inquiète pour le pays”, will be presented by the publishers at Librairie Le Phénix in Paris, on Friday, February 1 at 6 p.m. and at the Taiwan Cultural Centre … Lire la suite

New translations show us the quality of Taiwanese literature.

When we look at the collections of short stories and novels from Taiwanese literature, we are surprised to find that, after several publications in the 2000s, including two collections directed by Isabelle Rabut and Angel Pino (1), no new books until 2016. Three books are then published to which we will come back later: a special edition on Taiwan from the excellent journal Jentayu (3), a good collection “Taipei, history around the corner” published by … Lire la suite

Xi Xi, a famous writer from Hong Kong, finally praised in the West.

Xi Xi, the pseudonym of Zhang Yan, is probably the most famous writer in Hong Kong. Important and very varied works, with a limited number of translations in the West. She has just won the Newman Prize, awarded every two years by an international jury around the University of Oklahoma; only one condition, to write in Chinese. She is in good company with Mo Yan, Han Shaogong and the Taiwanese poet Yang Mu; two … Lire la suite

In Malaysia, plantations and real estate, a great novel by Chuah Guat Eng.

A novel “Echoes of Silence” (A) and its sequel “Days of Change” (B), are a good overview of Malaysia’s post-war colonial years until the end of the century. Chuah Guat Eng, who wrote this novel at the age of fifty, after a professional life in marketing and communication, chose a Chinese narrator Lim Ai Lian and then her favourite character, Hafiz, a Malay.

– An unconventional literary life:

Chuah Guat Eng … Lire la suite

Ed Lin with his detective novels helps us to understand the latest elections in Taiwan.

The results of the last elections in Taiwan were very surprising. When rereading some of the comments, it is clear that the fundamentals may have been forgotten in favour of personal preferences. The Taiwanese American writer Ed Lin, in a series of three detective novels, “A Taipei night market novel” (1), praises the charms of Taipei and reminds us of the essential features of Taiwanese history and society.

– Ed Lin, an atypical writer:

Ed … Lire la suite

Novelist Yan Lianke paints a tragic picture of the Chinese dream.

Yan Lianke is one of the most important contemporary novelists, for sure a potential candidate for the Nobel prize. Nine of his books have been published in France by Les Editions Philippe Picquier. More English translations have been released with Carlos Rojas, a professor at Duke University, who has translated five of his novels. In just a few months, “The Day the Sun Died” (1) has received flattering feedback from all over the world.

This … Lire la suite

With Qiu Xiaolong, Inspector Chen Cao is investigating air pollution in China.

Qiu Xiaolong is a writer who has always made sure to renew himself. Although he is famous for Inspector Chen Cao’s police investigations, translated into some 20 languages and sold two million copies, poetry is an essential part of his work.

Inspector Chen’s poems slipped into his novels, translations of classical Chinese poems, publication of his collections of poems in the prestigious China Literature Today magazine or, two years ago, in an excellent collection published … Lire la suite

Ovidia Yu, Singapore in the colonial era, two detective novels.

 

 

Singapore is perhaps one of the best places to eat and where food is the main focus of residents’ concerns and conversations. The novelist Ovidia Yu has written great crime stories in which the kitchen played a leading role and Aunty Lee, the cook of a small restaurant, found solutions to criminal investigations.

After four novels around Aunty Lee, Ovidia Yu brings us into the colonial atmosphere of 1930s Singapore with two very pleasant Lire la suite

Su Tong, women’s life, short novels and stories.

Su Tong 2Su Tong is one of the best-known Chinese novelists in the West; nine books translated into French, a little less into English; only Mo Yan has been more translated. That is why we must congratulate the publication in English, a few weeks ago, of the short novel “Petulia’s Rouge Tin” (1). This superb text had already been translated into French in 1995 under the title “Visages Fardés“. (1).

 

Su TongLire la suite

The letters of Xue Yiwei to Dr. Bethune, the most admired foreigner in China.

Xue YiweiXue Yiwei is a Chinese writer, living in Montreal for sixteen years, author of four novels, five collections of short stories and numerous essays. He is famous in China and begins to be read in the West where two collections of short stories have been translated into English as well as his novel “Dr. Bethune’s children” (3).

He spent his youth in Changsha in Hunan, studied at Guangzhou University and lived in … Lire la suite