After the controversy over the Nobel and Mo Yan, why not read his books?

The award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to the Chinese writer Mo Yan led to an intense debate in the media, both in China and abroad.

Some have strongly regretted that a Communist Party member, vice-president of the Writers’ Union, is awarded the prize, others that Mo Yan is not a radical critique of the Chinese regime or an unreserved supporter of the dissidents.

Some articles even show that the methods of the Maoist … Lire la suite

Shen Congwen, a writer once banned in China and Taiwan.

Shen Congwen is one of the greatest Chinese writers of the pre-war period. Hence the importance of the recent release in France of “The Journey to Xiang and other short stories”(1) that illustrates the talent of the writer in various styles.

His life and career are totally atypical. His family is a blend of the dominant Han population and the Miao and Tujia minorities in the beautiful region of south-central China, Hunan. He enlisted in … Lire la suite

Shen Congwen and Zhang Zhaohe, married for over fifty years…

The release a few weeks ago of a book by Shen Congwen (which will be discussed later): “The journey to Xiang and other short stories” (1), has led me to read again his translated works and also to discover a remarkable book, “Four sisters of Hofei “by Annping Chin. She was born in Taiwan in 1950, a professor in the History Department at Yale University and the wife of Jonathan Spence, the well-known academic.

Annping … Lire la suite

In China, officialdom novels: more than a hundred titles per year.

A thousand years long tradition had an unintended consequence in recent years, the development of a new literary genre: officialdom novels. This is why it is good news that Penguin China has published a few weeks ago “The civil servant notebook” by Wang Xiaofang, the great master of the genre, translated by Eric Abrahamsen, one of the founders of the well known site www.paper-republic.org  who lives in Beijing since 2001.

1 / The notebook of Lire la suite

Han Dong, an independent writer in Nanjing.

Han Dong is almost unknown in France, his books are not yet translated. This is not the case in the UK because of the efforts of a well-known translator Nicky Harman, who was kind enough to answer our many questions about this writer.

1 /The father, a writer, a family “sent to the countryside”:

Han Dong was born in Nanjing in 1961, he was the son of Han Jianguo (1930-1979), better known by the name … Lire la suite

Tan Twan Eng, a Malaysian writer for a British literary prize ?

Tan Twan Eng est un écrivain malaisien d’origine chinoise qui partage son temps entre l’île de Pénang où il est né et l’Afrique du Sud où il réside.

On a parlé, il y a quelques années, de son premier livre « A Gift of Rain », qui n’est malheureusement pas traduit en français. Ce livre avait été remarqué et figuré dans la première sélection du Booker prize, le Goncourt anglais. Son deuxième roman, très réussi, … Lire la suite

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim: from Malaysia to California.

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim is a writer, poet and academic, well known in the U.S., ignored in France, where not even a line is translated. Yet she is a leading figure and a talented writer who can be discovered by reading her memoirs, probably her best novel “Among the white moon faces” (1). /

1 / Malacca, the sleepy hollow:

 

Born in Malacca in 1944, a beautiful city, 150 kilometers south of Kuala Lumpur, … Lire la suite

Wuhe presents “The Survivors” of a drama during the colonial period.

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When a book is recommended by readers of Rue 89, the French translator, Emmanuelle Péchenart, Actes Sud publishers, Isabelle Rabut and Angel Pino, the American translator, Michael Berry and in addition related to a successful film “Seediq Bale “, you start to be anxious fearing to be disappointed. Wrong,” The Survivors “is a great book …

1 – Some milestones:

Aborigines of Taiwan, the first occupants of the island, represent less than 500,000, … Lire la suite

Su Tong settles scores with people living on the banks of the river.

The Chinese writer Su Tong is one of the favorites of the public, both in China and the West since the success of the film “Raise the Red Lantern” (1991), adapted from one of his novels.

Nine books translated into French and success also with the Man Asia prize in 2009 for ” The Bank of the River” (1) (previously translated into English as “The Boat to Redemption”).The many talents of the author are also … Lire la suite

“The fat years” of China in 2013, a novel by Chan Koonchung.

An excellent novel of political and social fiction has been translated into English this summer with an interesting preface by Julia Lovell under the title “The Fat Years” (1). The French translation (” Les Années Fastes”) will be published by Grasset early next year.

The author, Chan Koonchung, was the guest of a meeting organized in Paris by the CERI (Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales) at Sciences Po and Rue89. The presentation organized by … Lire la suite

Bi Feiyu, a Chinese writer in the world of the blind.

The Chinese novelist Bi Feiyu has been awarded in recent months the two most prestigious literary awards in Asia and particularly the Mao Dun prize, the Chinese “Goncourt”. In Paris for a few days, on the occasion of the release of his latest novel “The Blind” (1), we were able to meet him: a bon vivant, a good craftsman, happy in today’s China.

A reputation that is growing rapidly:

 

Well supported by his French … Lire la suite

In Nanjing, Bi Feiyu, a relaxed writer…

The first part of the interview with Bi Feiyu in Paris was published, with the review of his book “The Blind”, on Rue89; you will find here what is related to his writing …

The ‘long list’ of the novels for the Mao Dun award has led to controversy:

 

It is true that on this list and among the winners, there are Presidents and Vice Presidents of the regional groups of the Writers Union. … Lire la suite

Ha Jin, how a major Chinese writer became an American.

As an immigrant or an exile, how do you fit in a new country, how can you survive, how does one live with a new language, new environment, values and references that are foreign. “A free life” (1), now translated into French, the novel, largely autobiographical, by the great Chinese writer Ha Jin, who became an American citizen, handles these issues with intelligence and emotion.

Immigrant or exile:

 

Born into a family in … Lire la suite