Category Chinese

The Poetics of Pain and Return: Zou Jingzhi’s “Ninth Building,” Translated from Chinese by Jeremy Tiang

The mesmerizing power of “Ninth Building” comes from the mixture of the quotidian, run-of-the-mill activities humans undertake and the violent, absurd practices promoted by political propaganda during the Revolution. Described from a passive, observant, sometimes sarcastic perspective, suicide, beatings, permanently damaging diseases, fatal accidents, and pangs of loss, guilt, and regret bleed into the mundane activities of a child playing, card games, pranks, harvest, lumber, brigade duties, and composing and performing music.

Life Writing is History Making: Amy Lau’s “Memories of Old Macau: The Story of My Childhood,” translated from Chinese by Gigi Lam and Dr. Wai Man Chan

The vicissitudes of Lau’s memorable life experience rendered in English through the joint work of Lam and Chan form an essential part of Macau’s history. The book’s special rootedness in time and place allows readers to question familiar racial and cultural stereotypes. As it represents the early part of the author’s lifelong journey of migration, the memoir also asks readers to imagine the possibility of negotiating difference towards a productive cultural understanding.

“Written in Exile: The Poetry of Liu Tsung-Yuan,” Translated from Chinese by Red Pine

By Heather Lang-Cassera Liu Tsung-Yuan has long been acknowledged as one of the most accomplished prose writers of the T’ang Dynasty. However, his excellent poetry was set aside for a time in China—largely because, relative to his prose, he wrote little of it—and it has been wildly under-translated into English. Fortunately, renowned translator Red Pine, […]

The Secret Lives of Women: Can Xue’s “Love in the New Millennium,” Translated from Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen

By Ursula Deser Friedman She is one of China’s most prominent novelists and a champion of experimental literature. Can Xue (残雪) is the pen name of the avant-garde writer and literary critic Deng Xiaohua (1953-). In Chinese, can xue means “residual snow,” a phrase describing, in Deng’s words, both “the dirty snow that refuses to […]