“Lost Generation” by Michel Bonnin.

Twenty million young Chinese were sent to the countryside to be re-educated during the Cultural Revolution. This episode, not often mentioned in France, is of major importance for the understanding of history and Chinese literature. ‘Lost Generation’,  sending educated youth to rural China (1968-1980) was published in 2004 by Editions de l’Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) and is the reference book on the subject.

Michel Bonnin started the first interviews in Hong … Lire la suite

“Writings from the rat’s nest”by Lao She.

Lao She is one of my favorite writers; I enjoyed reading this little book a few months after the publication by the same publisher of “The Philosophy of Lao Zhang” his first novel.

The “Writings …” are newspaper and magazine articles, especially from the period 1934-1939, but with a good short story, dated 1959, on cats, his favorite animal. Many autobiographical articles on his family, his children, his youth, his mother and uncle … demonstrate … Lire la suite

Paperbacks for a summer: a selection of ten novels.

Originally published on Rue89 07/13/2010

 

As published last year, here again is a choice of ten chinese novels for your summer, recently published (in France ) as paperbacks and easy to find.The choice of novels of more than 300 pages has been limited to two books, as some readers shy away.

Only writers and books which came under review last year have been selected.

  • Available also in English:

–         Diane Wei Liang: The eye of … Lire la suite

He was not lucky with Germany…

The writer and poet Liao Yiwu was unable to attend last September the Frankfurt Book Fair; a few days ago, he could not leave Chengdu to fly to the Literary Festival in Cologne. In short, he never could get out of China !

Born in 1958, he narrowly escaped death during the famine of the Great Leap Forward then the Cultural Revolution led to the breakdown of his family: his father, a teacher, was prosecuted, … Lire la suite

Liu Zhenyun and the Dangdai literary award.

“Frogs” by Mo Yan did not receive the Dangdai award. The short list included all the books people are talking about in Beijing : the novels by A-Lai, Su Tong, Zhang Ling. Liu Zhenyun won the prize with “A Word Is Worth a Thousand Words. “after being the winner in 2007 with ” My name is Liu Yuejin “.

Liu Zhenyun was fortunate to have Sebastian Veg (1) as a translator for two books published … Lire la suite

“Frogs”, the latest novel by Mo Yan.

If you like Mo Yan, cheer up. As was told during his interview to Rue89 (30/08/2009), his novel “Frogs” has just been published in Beijing. “Frogs”, “Wa” in Chinese is pronounced like Nu Wa, goddess in Chinese mythology who created humanity, more over the frog in some provinces is the symbol of fertility.

As he said in an interview with China Daily (01/08/2010), it is a novel about his aunt, now 76 years old, who … Lire la suite

Cao Naiqian

Much has been said on this writer in recent weeks. His first book, “There’s nothing I can do when I think of you late at night” was published, six months ago, in the prestigious Asian collection at the University of Columbia. The book is part of the “long list” of best translations prepared by the University of Rochester but did not win a prize.

A collection of short stories has been translated into Swedish by … Lire la suite

A former Red Guard revisits the golden age of Islam in Europe.

Zhang Chengzhi recently published “In the ruins of an outbreak: Travel in Al-Andalus, the Islamic Spain which enjoyed a brilliant civilization from the 8th to the 15th century. This book, which is not translated, is presented in details by Bruce Humes (1).

Zhang, after six trips to Andalusia, Morocco, Portugal, delivers a very personal book illustrated with photos and drawings, stories of his travels but also study of the relationship between Moors and China, the … Lire la suite

The writer Lu Xun, eternal protester of chinese society.

Originally published on Rue89, 1/7/2010

 

 Lu Xun, the “giant” of Chinese literature before the Revolution, makes the headlines in publishing:  translations of high quality in France (by Sebastian Veg) and England (by Julia Lovell) and even a graphic novel about Ah-Q, his  most famous short story (Editions Elytis).

From tradition to challenge:

Lu Xun was born in 1881 in Shaoxing, a beautiful city south of Shanghai, famous for its yellow wine. A family of … Lire la suite

Diane Wei Liang, from Tiananmen Square to detective novels.

Originally published on Rue89, 29/5/2010.

A childhood in a work camp, in love and activist in Beijing University during the “events” in Tiananmen Square in 1989. After graduating in psychology, Diane Wei Liang left China for an American university and a management consultant career. Now a mother, she lives in London, and has published two detective novels; the second, ” Paper Butterfly,” has just been translated into French.

“A lake with no name: the English … Lire la suite

“Do not cry Tai Lake” by Qiu Xiaolong.

Originally published on Rue89, 05/07/2010.

 

 

 

Pollution by green algae is no promotion for tourism. This is true for some beaches in France,in Brittany, but also for Lake Tai. Only one hour by train from Shanghai, it is unlikely to be part of the tours offered to visitors of the Expo. This is what tells us  the latest novel by Qiu Xiaolong, the master of the Chinese detective story.

The city of Wuxi, north of … Lire la suite

Li Yiyun : “Literature is not for the faint hearted”

We have already mentioned the talent of the Chinese-American author Li Yiyun in a post mentioning  a film based on one of her short stories (“A Thousand Years of Good Prayers”). We have been able to meet her in Paris during the launch of her novel “A beautiful spring day.”
From Beijing to San Francisco from immunology to literature
Born in Beijing, Yiyun Li is 38 years. After studying Mathematics and English, she enrolled at Lire la suite

The writer Yan Lianke, filial devotion and changes in China.

Originally published on Rue89, 7/4/2010.

Invited to attend last march the Paris book fair : the Chinese writer Yan Lianke, who is well known to readers of Rue89. Yan Lianke is 52, he was born into an illiterate peasant family in the western Henan province. A career in the Army allows him to escape a life as a farmer and provided a university education. His books brought him as many literary prizes as problems with … Lire la suite