A meeting with Liu Zhenyun: famine and loneliness

sam_0480_convertedZhenyun Liu is one of China’s best-known writers; many awards for his novels, a great success for the many films based on them. He was in Paris a few days ago to present two of his books: ” Remember 1942 ,” an essay on the famine in Henan Province and a novel: ” A word is worth a thousand words“, a text on communication and loneliness, which was awarded the main literary prize in … Lire la suite

The cult writer Wang Xiaobo: sex as resistance to oppression

Bertrand Mialaret | Mychinesebooks.com

WANG_X~1Wang Xiaobo, who died in 1997, is a cult writer in China, especially among students. Sites, and forums are devoted to him and the anniversary of his death is the occasion of numerous commemorations.This is why the release in France of his novel “Future World”(1) is an important event, especially as his most famous work ” The Golden Age ” is very difficult to find in French (2).

Three holes in Lire la suite

Geling Yan and Ha Jin, the memory of the Nanjing massacre reappear with their novels.

9782081273115The Nanjing massacre and the 300,000 victims are one of the most tragic episodes in the history of the 20th century. It is rarely mentioned in Europe while the atrocities committed by the Japanese army during the storming of the former Chinese capital in December 1937 continue to poison relations between China and Japan.
Many films but few novels, apart from the book by Ye Zhaoyan, were devoted to this drama . But two

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Lao She in London, a novelist and the “yellow peril”.

Lao She (1899-1966) is one of my favorite writers, so I have not waited too long to read “Lao She in London” (1) by Anne Witchard, lecturer at the English Department of Westminster University. A good book that teaches little about Lao She, but a lot about the influence of China on the London avant-garde of the time and also the obsession of the “yellow peril.”

London, an important step:

Lao She was born in … Lire la suite

“Crossings” by Chuang Hua, a must read book.

“Crossings” (1) published in 1968 has been completely ignored. Released again in 1986 with an afterword by the scholar Amy Ling, this book, partly autobiographical, was considered an essential step in the development of Sino-American literature and as a forerunner to the famous work by Maxine Hong Kingston “The woman warrior “(1975).

This is the only book ever written by Stella Yang Copley (1931-2000) under the name of Chuang Hua. Born in China, her family … Lire la suite

In Tibet, the bloody conflicts between Christ and Buddha.

A book and an exhibition centered on the bloody conflict between Christ and Buddha at the border of China Yunnan and Tibet. Two simultaneous but unrelated events.The release last April of a novel by Fan Wen, “A Land of Milk and Honey” and a current exhibition, “Missions of the roof of the world”, with the Foreign Missions in Paris. Fan Wen speaks only Chinese and the Fathers of the Foreign Missions have not read his … Lire la suite

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

This article has been posted on the 17th of september 2012, but the link with the English version has been broken. We are also very happy to mention that Tan Twan Eng has won yesterday, the 14th of march, the Man Asia literary prize…

 

 

Tan Twan Eng is a Malaysian writer of Chinese origin who shares his time between the island of Penang where he was born and South Africa where … Lire la suite

Chi Zijian, the death of shamans and reindeer herders.

With a great book by Chi Zijian, “The last quarter of the moon” (1) we discover the twilight of the Evenki, nomadic reindeer herders on “The right bank of the Argun” as mentioned by a more suitable original title.

1 – The Evenki and the Argun River:

 

The Argun River, along 900 kilometers is the border between China and Russia and near Mohe, the most upnorth city in northern China, joins river Chika to … Lire la suite

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