Before the film by J.J. Annaud, the controversial book “Wolf Totem”

Wolf Totem (3)“The Last Wolf”, a film by Jean-Jacques Annaud, just released in France and China after a clever promotional campaign to mark the Chinese New Year. The year of the goat / sheep could not be more appropriate for a movie about wolves.

A major work of the French director, the film only partially reflects the spirit of the book that inspired it, “Wolf Totem” by Jiang Rong, the biggest bestseller in China after the “Little … Lire la suite

Xu Zechen, in Beijing, petty crime and moral sense.

Xu ZechenXu Zechen is not yet forty years old and is considered one of the most promising writers of his generation. One of his novels “Running through Beijing” (1), has been translated into English and will be published in French in 2016. A rather pleasant book that is easy to read and where we meet in neighborhoods north of Beijing various petty traffickers rather..happy!

1 – Dunhuang, with such a name, he can only Lire la suite

Zhu Tianwen, the unbridgeable gap between literature and film.

Chu T'ien-wen (3)Zhu Tianwen is one of the most famous Taiwanese writers, she has just been awarded the Newman prize, a biennial prize by the University of Oklahoma. She is the first female recipient and was in good company with finalists such as Yu Hua, Yan Lianke, Ge Fei. She succeeds Mo Yan and Han Shaogong who were awarded the prize in 2009 and 2011 as well as theTaiwanese poet Yang Mu.

An award for her work … Lire la suite

Zhu Tianxin, nostalgia for Taipei and military compounds.

Zhu TianxinA symposium last October at INALCO on military compounds in Taiwan, led me to read / re-read the texts by Zhu Tianxin and her older sister Zhu Tianwen. Isabelle Rabut and Angel Pino, professors one at INALCO, the other at the Bordeaux university, run at Actes Sud a serie of modernTaiwanese novels and play an essential role in promoting this literature. These two days, during which were also presented two films, could be supplemented by … Lire la suite

Yu Hua: deaths without burial, Chinese version.

Yu Hua sam_0547The Chinese writer Yu Hua, well known abroad with international hits such as “To Live” or “Brothers” is back in Paris for the launch of his latest novel “The Seventh Day”.

Seven years have passed since the release in China of “Brothers”, a period during which Yu Hua mostly wrote articles and essays including a remarkable collection that we mentioned in 2010, “China in Ten Words”.

He kindly answered once more our questions with the … Lire la suite

Mo Yan and tribulations of a Nobel prize in Provence

MoYanA few days ago, Mo Yan, the Chinese novelist, Nobel Prize for Literature in 2012, was in Aix en Provence and for the fourth time. Why such a loyalty? Mo Yan has not forgotten the support  provided for years by a group of academics, translators, publishers, many of whom live in Provence in the south of France.

For the last five years he had not visited France, the country which has translated and published the … Lire la suite

Eileen Chang, her most popular novel finally translated.

Eileen Chang 2Eileen Chang is undoubtedly one of the major Chinese writers of the 20th century. Famous when she was only 23 years old in Shanghai in 1943 for two short stories “Love in a Fallen City” (1.2) and “The golden cangue ” (3). An amazing life, a great talent, a cult writer in Taiwan and China that the worldwide success of Ang Lee’s film “Lust caution” helped to recognize.

This success probably supported other releases including … Lire la suite

Mai Jia with “Decoded”, a spy novel and thoughts on genius and madness.

Mai jia (2)The unprecedented media promotion of this novel intrigued me. I read few espionage novels but the fact that it was translated from the Chinese raised some questions. However, the book lacked the political environment of the previous large-scale launch, that of “Wolf Totem” in 2007. In addition, an author of espionage novels who wins the Mao Dun prize is not common …In  short enough reasons to read “Decoded” … and with great pleasure.

Publishers Penguin … Lire la suite

Yiyun Li, “Kinder than solitude” or the past difficult to live with.

Yiyun Li, författare.Yiyun Li’s talent is now widely recognized; it is rare to witness such an increase in quality in such a short period of time. Her fourth book “Kinder than solitude” leads to many questions; it should be read and specially reread as this second novel has just been published in the English-speaking world (1) We have carefully followed the publications (2) by Yiyun Li: two interviews, the first one by phone six years ago was … Lire la suite

Wu Ming-yi, an ecological novel on pollution and the”seventh continent”.

Wu Ming -yi (4)It has been mentioned for a long time that huge amounts of plastic waste were floating on the oceans. This rubbish is concentrated in areas where different ocean currents converge. Since 1997, several scientific expeditions have identified an area of several million km2 in the Pacific Ocean 1000 km north of Hawaii (1); the dustbin of our consumer society …

An island of plastic waste is one of the major themes of a pleasant novel … Lire la suite

Mo Yan, peut-on être à la fois Chinois et Prix Nobel? (2)

4/ En Occident, un intérêt limité:

Mo Yan NobelLa presse en France, n’a jamais montré beaucoup d’intérêt pour la littérature chinoise. Et pourtant c’est en France que Mo Yan est le plus publié (17 livres) du fait de la passion d’un petit groupe d’éditeurs et de traducteurs.

Mo Yan était peu connu dans le monde anglophone (9 livres publiés) mais paradoxalement la presse s’est beaucoup attachée à parler de cet écrivain et souvent avec des articles de … Lire la suite

Mo Yan, peut-on être à la fois Chinois et Prix Nobel? (1).

Mo Yan NobelLe prix Nobel de littérature a été attribué pour la première fois à un romancier chinois, Mo Yan. Evènement considérable dont se sont emparés les autorités de Pékin, les médias et les dissidents chinois du monde entier. Mo Yan a été jugé en fonction non de la qualité de ses livres, mais de positions politiques affichées ou supposées. Et pourtant son œuvre témoigne de l’indépendance et des capacités critiques d’un homme qui a été au Lire la suite

Lloyd Fernando: in Malaysia, a good novel about the tensions in a multiracial society.

Llyod Fernando (1)Lloyd Fernando (1926-2008) is an important figure in the intellectual life in Malaysia; university professor, champion of the English language, lawyer, novelist. His best-known novel, “Green is the colour” (1993), was difficult to find but was republished in 2012 (1) in Singapore.
This is a good novel, which still looks pretty topical, on the tensions within a multiracial society.The race riots of the 13 May 1969, which caused hundreds of deaths and led the government … Lire la suite