Romain Rolland, forgotten in France, praised in China.

romain-rollandWhat do you think of “Jean Christophe”? To reply that I had not read it resulted in a reaction of surprise from Chinese friends … I was all the less forgivable because I live in Paris around the Luxembourg Garden, near the 162 Boulevard du Montparnasse, where Romain Rolland stayed and wrote “Jean Christophe”.

 

Romain Rolland, a writer without borders:

 

He was a writer, an intellectual of a stature and influence which we … Lire la suite

Xue Yiwei, a writer famous in China and almost unknown in Montreal.

xue-yiwei-4Two short stories collections, “War Stories” and “Shenzheners” by Xue Yiwei , a celebrated writer in China who lives in Montreal for almost fifteen years, are now translated into English.

 

– From Shenzhen to Montreal:

 

He grew up in Changsha, Hunan, where he worked for a local government body after studying computer science in Beijing. In 1989, at 25, he published his first novel “Desertion“, an essentially … Lire la suite

The multi-talented Taiwanese novelist Zhang Dachun visiting Paris.

zhang-dachun-a-parisTaiwan Cultural Center in Paris has invited Zhang Dachun (Chang Ta-chun), one of the most famous Taiwanese writers to recall the memories of their fifteen years for three generations, his father, himself and his daughter.

 

– His father is fifteen in 1936:

 

The father is a native of Jilin in Shandong, he was a minor official who only went to college and had no connection with the intellectual community. The year 1936 sees … Lire la suite

Liu Cixin and “The three-body problem”, an international success.

liu-cixin-8This Science Fiction novel, is an international success. The three novels of the serie were translated into English and the first volume, “The three-body problem” is now available in a translation into French by Gwennaël Gaffric (1).

 

The three novels, published as from 2008 were sold in China more than two million copies and exceptional achievement, the English translation has been read by 200.000 people including Marc Zukerberg and President Obama. Ken Liu, a … Lire la suite

Qiu Xiaolong, a gourmet and a poet to the service of police investigation.

qiu-xiaolongThe novelist is spending a couple of days in France to present his tenth book “Once upon a time Inspector Chen” (1), accompanied by a small volume offered by the publishers, “Once upon a time Qiu Xiaolong” (2). A very attractive set, well served by the translation by Adelaide Pralon, which brings us into the intimacy of the author and his hero, inspector Chen Cao.

 

– Chen Cao, how to become an inspector:Lire la suite

In “Marrow” by Yan Lianke, a mother refuses to accept fate.

yan-lianke-5Yan Lianke is one of the most important present Chinese writers, certainly a candidate for a Nobel prize. Seven of his novels have been translated into French, but few short stories or short novels. Therefore, we welcome that a novel, published in 1999, is translated into English (1). A book that the author published before his most famous novels, but which contains many of the themes he will develop later.

– A novel of his Lire la suite

Su Tong, a great novel, “Tale of the Siskin”.

Su Tong 6The latest novel by Su Tong, “Tale of the Siskin” (1) has just been released in France. A great book which, like his previous novel “The boat to redemption” (2), was translated by the talented Francois Sastourné. Leading literary awards: Man Asia 2009 award for “The boat…” and especially the ninth Mao Dun prize in 2015 for his latest novel.

– Short stories, historical novels, films:
Su Tong is one of the most famous … Lire la suite

Xu Xiaobin, romance, some sex and some good books.

Xu Xiaobin 6Xu Xiaobin is a famous writer in China, three novels have been translated into English. A romantic style but sometimes including some social reality.
“Crystal Wedding” fifteen years of the life of a couple:
Yang Tianyi, the heroin is, as says the author, a woman, a pretty ordinary intellectual and she tells us the fifteen years (1984-1999) between her marriage and her divorce, her relations with her husband and several unsuccessful love affairs, her failure … Lire la suite

Noyelles, the forgotten cemetery of Chinese workers of the Great War.

Noyelles 3We will commemorate on next July 1st the hundredth anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. Hopefully the Brexit will not overshadow these celebrations. This battle in a few months took away the lives of   a million people, 420,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers, 30,000 dead on the first day of the battle … The magnitude of the losses forced to use foreign labor including Chinese …

 

– An agreement with China to offset these Lire la suite

Internet, novel, historical studies, how to revive Shanghai’s French Concession?

Xiao Bai . Paris, mars 2014The French Concession of Shanghai is a fascinating episode in French colonial history and development of Shanghai. A “thriller”by Xiao Bai, has just been published and re-creates with talent and a remarkable historical accuracy the turbulences of the year 1931 in the “French Concession”.Once the book is finished, many questions remain which can be met by historical studies but also with the contribution, slightly disappointing,of the Internet.

 

 

– A “thriller” and a “historical” novel:Lire la suite

Cinema by Gao Xingjian: “Requiem for beauty”.

Gao Xingjian 5A film screened at the festival “Book District”, a week scheduled by the Academy and the Hall of the fifth district of Paris. One evening where Gao Xingjian also presented his poetry, translated by Noël Dutrait (1), his friend, an academic well known in particular for translating the works of two Nobel Prize Gao Xingjian in 2000 and Mo Yan in 2013.

 

– Gao Xingjian, a complete artist:

 

Two books made him famous: … Lire la suite

Guo Songfen, a Taiwanese novelist and a victim of the Diaoyu islands…

Guo SongfenThe Diaoyu Islands (Sendaku) are located 200 km NE of Taiwan and 400 km SE of Okinawa. They are uninhabited and were part, with Taiwan, of the territorial conquests of Japan after the defeat of China and the treaty of Simonoseki (1895).

 

At the end of World War II, Chiang Kai-shek refused to occupy these islands; the United States returned them to Japan with the Okinawa Treaty signed in 1970. Protests from Taiwan and … Lire la suite

Han Suyin: Malaysia, the difficult birth of a nation.

Han Suyin 5Han Suyin passed away three years ago in Lausanne. She is one of the few authors that I do not want to read because her hagiography of the most questionable episodes in the recent history of China is quite unbearable. But a friend advised me to read “And the rain my drink” written in Malaysia and considered one of the best books on the anti-British guerrilla which casted a tragic shadow over this country from … Lire la suite