Away from the Olympics, a “literary” walk through Beijing.

Originally published on Rue89, 08/03/2008

(From Beijing). If you have decided to visit Beijing this summer, without fear of heat, of tourists and athletes invasion, as well as of an “Olympic” increase in prices, you can avoid the crowd by visiting the landmarks of the major Chinese writers of the twentieth century, which are part of the history of the capital.

In this city, hundreds of miles of flowered roses for the Olympics, where the … Lire la suite

The rape of Nanjing in 1937 is also a love story.

Originally published on Rue89 – 06/30/2008 –

The world has not totally forgotten the massacre of Nanjing. The seventieth anniversary of the Japanese army in the Chinese city of Nanking, which caused 300,000 deaths in the civilian population, has been recalled by the publication of several books including a…  love story by Ye Zhaoyan.

In 1937,  Nanjing is the capital of the Nationalist regime of Chiang Kai-shek. Twenty years before, Ding Wenyu, son of a … Lire la suite

Inspector Chen investigates the private life of Chairman Mao.

Originally published on Rue89- 06/07/2008. 

 If you liked “Death of a red heroine”, you’ll love “The Mao Case”, just released. The author, the novelist Qiu Xiaolong, a Sino-American revisits the myth of Mao Zedong . He was kind enough to explain it, for the first time, during a telephone interview with Rue89.

The sixth investigation of the Inspector Chen Cao will take him from Shanghai to Beijing to investigate the private life of Chairman Mao … Lire la suite

He Jiahong, the rule of law through the detective novel.

Originally published on Rue89 – 05/30/2008 –

He Jiahong can be  met in Beijing on the new premises of the Faculty of Law of the People’s University where he teaches. Lawyer and recognized criminologist, he defends the rule of law, and promotes his ideas in an original way … by writing detective novels (four of which were translated into French and published by Editions de l’Aube).

Of Manchu origin, he was born in 1953 in … Lire la suite

The changing world of publishing in China.

Originally published on Rue89-05/10/2008.

The most populated country is also the one which publishes the most: 220,000 titles, more than the United States and 3.5 times more than France. Also, the number of titles published is increasing three times faster. The production (6.5 billion books) is the first in the world, nearly fifteen times what is produced in France (1).

The value of this production is lower than it is in the U.S., but nearly … Lire la suite

« Brothers » by Yu Hua, from Cultural Revolution to modern capitalism.

Originally published on Rue89- 04/17/2008 –

 “Brothers,” the book by the famous Chinese writer Yu Hua, who enjoyed considerable success in China, has been translated in France. On this occasion, Yu Hua is in Paris; Rue89 could ask him some questions with the help of Isabelle Rabut, translator of the novel and professor at the “INALCO”.

 

Brothers:

The novel was published in two volumes in 2005 and 2006 and has sold more than one … Lire la suite

A survey of Chinese capitalism by a French sinologist.

Originally published on Rue89-03/19/2008.

The history of capitalism in China from its beginnings to the present period is marked by the accidents and events of history but also by surprising elements of continuity. This is shown by a very well informed book published by Marie-Claire Bergere, a professor at the “INALCO” and the “Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales”.

Do not be afraid by 370 pages of text and 100 pages of notes and … Lire la suite

Guo Xiaolu,dictionary for lovers and culture shock.

Originally published on Rue89-02/22/2008 –

No, despite its title, “A Concise Chinese-English dictionary for lovers”,  is not a book to offer for Valentine’s Day or a version, for linguists, of the Kama Sutra, but the latest book by the Chinese novelist Guo Xiaolu, whom we could meet in Paris.

Guo Xiaolu  was born thirty-five years ago in a small harbour in southern China. Her family, like many others, was torn apart by the Cultural Revolution:

Lire la suite

Straits Chinese, two writers of great talent.

Originally published on Rue89- 02/02/2008 –

The “Straits Chinese” are born in Malaysia and Singapore with families who have migrated in successive moves since the 15th century from the southern provinces of China, mainly from Fujian. The families of our two authors are more recent immigrants who have not benefited from the Malay cultural mix.

Kuala Lumpur, the capital, does not show an active cultural life, especially since many Malaysian writers, mostly of Chinese origin … Lire la suite

The Chinese writer Xinran and prejudices against girls.

Originally published on Rue89-01/22/2008.

When a poor Chinese peasant is unfortunate with six girls (“chopsticks”, fragile and of little use to their family), he will regret all his life not to have a “beam”, a boy that  can support the family roof. Chinese writer Xinran, shows that the rapid changes in China may upset traditional ideas.

Xinran and her three previous books:

Xinran, who was in Paris to present her latest book ” Miss Chopsticks”, … Lire la suite

“Wuxia” novels: fairy tales for adults.

Originally published on Rue89.com-12/29/2007 –

Shrug of shoulders, condescending looks, these are the reactions that may create the mention of Chinese martial arts novels.The release two months ago one of masterpieces of the genre, “Tiger and Dragon” by Wang Dulu in the elegant translation of Solange Cruveillé leads to a more subtile evaluation.

The origins of this “wuxia” literature go far in the past: the knights-errant were not soldiers or nobles, their origin was irrelevant, … Lire la suite

The first “American” novel by the “Chinese” writer Ha Jin.

Originally published on Rue89-12/11/2007-

Highly praised by the American press, the publication in October of the latest novel by Chinese American writer Ha Jin, shows a new development. “A free life”, not yet translated into French, is indeed the first work of its author taking place in the United States and not in China.

This long novel, reviewed by John Updike, in The New Yorker, leads us to question the topics of his earlier novels, … Lire la suite

The Chinese writer Mo Yan, exams and “Eternal Happiness”

Originally published on Rue89, 21/11/2007.
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Mo Yan is probably one of the most important Chinese writers today, certainly a possible “Nobel”. The release of “Joy” allows us to understand better his world. He  is very close to his hero, nicknamed Yongli, “Eternal Happiness”.

Son of poor peasants in Shandong as the author, Yongli dreams of joining university.  “Think a little, what are the benefits of being a peasant? … As long as we build … Lire la suite