Fifteen years later, the triumph of Eileen Chang.

Eileen Chang died in 1995 in Los Angeles after considerable success in China and Hong Kong in the 1940s; she failed to be recognized as a writer in the U.S. where she had emigrated and died at the age of 75, forgotten and isolated. Fifteen years later, she tops sales in the Chinese world, especially among the female audience. She is now considered a major writer. In less than two years, three of her books … Lire la suite

Shanghai off the beaten track.

If you visit the Expo, do not rely on travel agencies if you want to discover lesser-known aspects of Shanghai that the few “must see”. During the Olympics in Beijing, I had suggested in Rue89, “literary walks” that received positive reactions. Unable to go to Shanghai this year, I still found some interesting information.

1 – The residence of pre-war celebrities:

The China Daily “(2010-07/02), offers eight ideas of visits of the beaten track, including … Lire la suite

The Hong Kong Book Fair, five times bigger than Paris.

The “Salon du Livre” in Paris is thirty years old, the Hong Kong Book Fair celebrated its twentieth anniversary in 2009. Paris recorded 190,000 visitors and 920,000 in Hong Kong for a city of seven million inhabitants.

In Hong Kong, the Book Fair, the largest in Asia, is a popular event, a landmark event which attracts some 90,000 tourists (1). Visitors come mainly for buying books, novels and literature for more than 80% ( of … Lire la suite

Fenghuang, the most beautiful small town in China?

It is in Fenghuang that the famous writer Shen Congwen (1902-1988) spent his youth. This small town in western Hunan Province (South China), is considered a unique architecture heritage, being considered for the World Heritage List of theUnesco.

An unsettled border zone:

In China, the Han are 92% of the population. Fifty-six “ethnic minorities” total 110 million of which 9 million people are Miao; with the Tujia, the Miao represent an important share of the … Lire la suite

Shen Congwen, a great writer to be rediscovered .

With Lao She and Lu Xun, Shen Congwen is without doubt one of the great writers of the last century, but for Shen Congwen, no further translations, he has to be discovered by a new generation.

 A family of military tradition:

An illustrious grandfather, who was general, a father who was a military doctor but never at home. Miao by his grandmother and Tujia by his mother, he claims that he is a Han  but … Lire la suite

“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