Chi Li, a Chinese writer from Wuhan: good novels should be short !

Originally published on Rue89, 10/05/2008.
 Eight novels by Chinese novelist Chi Li have been translated into French. The last and one of the most uncommon, “Wild grass around wheat” is published this week.

A good writer; for ten years, several translators and one publisher have struggled to make her popular with French readers. It is a lengthy process that should be welcomed because, in English, not a line is translated.

Her daughter disappears in Beijing:  Lire la suite

“Beijing Coma”, in memory of the forgotten Tiananmen.

Originally published on Rue89, 09/06/2008 –

The release of the French translation of the book of Chinese writer Ma Jian, “Beijing Coma” is a real event, an important book on the tragedy of Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.

Three books in one:  The hero, Dai Wei, wounded by a gunshot in the head inflicted by a plainclothes police officer when the army crushed the revolt of the “Beijing Spring”, will live ten years in … 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

« 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

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

Love again, after the Mao period.

Originally published on Rue89-10/12/2007 –

The “Trilogy of Love”, a set of three novels, published in 1986-1987, by Wang Anyi gave rise at the time to some emotion and harsh criticism because it was the first time that sex was mentioned, although timidly, in contemporary Chinese literature. The second of these novels, translated into English when it was published, (Renditions – Hong Kong), has been released in French by Editions Philippe Picquier.

“Love in a

Lire la suite