Archiv orientální special issue

Special Issue: East and South East Asia in the World Literary Space

A new special issue of Archiv orientální, guest-edited by Chiu Kuei-fen and Táňa Dluhošová, just came out. Seven research articles map the potential of East and Southeast Asian literatures as World Literature. The issue includes two review essays by C.T. Au and Lin Pei-yin focusing on recent local scholarly trends in the study of Hong Kong and Taiwan literature. Review essays and the introduction are freely accessible:

Táňa Dluhošová <>

From Rural China to the Ivy League

From Rural China to the Ivy League: Reminiscences of Transformations in Modern Chinese History by Yü Ying-shih, translated and edited by Josephine Chiu-Duke and Michael S. Duke (Cambria Press), has just been published.

Professor Yü’s book, originally published in Chinese, covers the period from his childhood in rural Anhui Province China to his professorship at Harvard University, and it has been read extensively in Chinese, both in serial form in the Mingbao Monthly and in book form. The book sold more than 10,000 copies in the first month after its publication by Yunchen Publishing Company in Taipei, Taiwan, in late 2018. The book was awarded the twelfth Hong Kong Book Prize in June 2019. This book, expertly translated by Professors Michael S. Duke and Josephine Chiu-Duke (University of British Columbia), is much more than the memoir of the scholar who has been hailed as the most important living Chinese historian of our times—it is also an invaluable record of a history of our times, witnessing the cultural, political, and social transformations of what Professor Yü notes as the period of the most violent turmoil and social upheaval in modern Chinese history. This complex period is now made accessible to English-language readers, who will also benefit from the helpful notes by the translators. The book also includes rare photos from Professor Yü’s personal collection.

Read an excerpt (“there were still some people who remembered when I ran into this serious ‘literary disaster’ at the age of thirteen or fourteen.”— Yü Ying-shih) from chapter 1, “Rural Life in Qianshan County, Anhui Province” here. Continue reading

Chinese Literature Today 10.1

Dear colleagues,

We are running a free access period for Chinese Literature Today v 10. n1 (2021) from now to the end of 2021. This issue features the Newman Laureate Yan Lianke 阎连科, author Zhu Wenying 朱文颖, as well as poems by Mai Mang 麦芒 and Yam Gong 飲江. The cover art is Yue Minjun’s 岳敏君 painting “Dark Sky.”

Those contents can be read and downloaded from the Taylor & Francis website at:


Ping Zhu
Acting Editor-in-Chief
Chinese Literature Today

Chinese Literature and Culture in the Era of Global Capitalism

Dear Colleagues,

I’m happy to announce the publication of my new book Chinese Literature and Culture in the Era of Global Capitalism: Renaissance or Rehabilitation? (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2021). Combining anatomies of textual examples with broader contextual considerations related with the social, political and economic developments of post-Mao China, Xiaoping Wang intends to explore newly emerging social and cultural trends in contemporary China, and find the truth content of Chinese society and culture in the age of global capitalism. Through in-depth textual analyses covering a variety of media, ranging from fiction, poetry, film to theoretical works as well as cultural phenomena which mirror social and cultural occurrences and reflect the present ideological proclivities of the Chinese society, this study offers timely interpretations of China in the age of globalization, its political inclinations, social fashions and cultural tendencies, and provides thought-provoking messages of China’s socio-economic and political reality.

For more details, click the following link,

Continue reading

Moonlight Rests on My Left Palm

Moonlight Rests on My Left Palm by Yu Xiuhua, Trans. by Fiona Sze-Lorrain. Published by Astra House, 2021

Starting with the viral poem “Crossing Half of China to Fuck You,” Yu Xiuhua’s raw collection in Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s translation chronicles her life as a disabled, divorced, single mother in rural China.

Yu Xiuhua was born with cerebral palsy in Hengdian village in the Hubei Province, in central China. Unable to attend college, travel, or work the land with her parents, Yu remained home where she could help with housework. Eventually she was forced into an arranged marriage that became abusive. She divorced her husband and moved back in with her parents, taking her son with her.

In defiance of the stigma attached to her disability, her status as a divorced single mother, and as a peasant in rural China, Yu found her voice in poetry. Starting in the late 90s, her writing became a vehicle with which to explore and share her reflections on homesickness, family and ancestry, the reality of disability in the context of a body’s urges and desires. Continue reading

Pathlight relaunch

Dear friends of Chinese literature,

Pathlight magazine is thrilled to announce the relaunch of the journal, with a new issue “Sense of Place” available now as an ebook world-wide, and for sale as a print magazine in the US (international shipping coming soon!).

Pathlight magazine was founded in 2010 in Beijing, originally in collaboration with People’s Literature Magazine, to publish Sinophone short stories and poems in translation. Since then, we have been honored to present writing by up-and-coming authors as well as literary luminaries such as Nobel laureate Mo Yan. However, as the magazine was printed and distributed primarily in China, with digital copies only sporadically available, it hasn’t always been easy to get hold of Pathlight. This is about to change. We are delighted to announce that Pathlight’s first international edition, “Sense of Place,” is now available for sale in both print and ebook versions.

Please see the attached press release for more details, or visit the magazine website at

Thanks for reading!

Eric Abrahamsen

Stories from an Ancient Land

Permit me to promote my own new book, which is about the Wa people, who see themselves as the caretakers of the world, because they were the first people on Earth. Today, their ancient land has been annexed by China, and Burma. The book is about Wa cosmology, xenology and sociality, about fieldwork and participant intoxication, about the political anthropology of standing your ground, and about the Chinese appropriation of Wa culture, and much more. Also includes an epilogue on the future of ethnics in the context of the current Chinese neonationalist policy shift, and genocide in Xinjiang (East Turkestan). The book is:

Stories from an Ancient Land: Perspectives on Wa History and Culture. New York/Oxford: Berghahn: August 2021. Series: Asian Anthropologies. ISBN  978-1-78920-887-0; eISBN 978-1-78920-888-7.

Discount code FIS870. Valid until September 30th 2021.

–Cheers, Magnus Fiskesjö

Mo Yan Speaks

Mo Yan Speaks: Lectures and Speeches by the Nobel Laureate from China by Mo Yan, translated and edited by Shiyan Xu (Cambria Press) has just been published.

Nobel Laureate Mo Yan, whose name literally means “don’t speak,” is renowned for his fiction, which the Nobel Prize Foundation notes “merges folk tales, history and the contemporary” “with hallucinatory realism.” His works include The Garlic BalladsRed SorghumShifu, You’ll Do Anything for a LaughLife and Death Are Wearing Me OutThe Republic of Wine; and Big Breasts and Wide Hips (all translated into English by Professor Howard Goldblatt). Mo Yan’s fiction has captivated a global audience for years, and his speeches are just as riveting. They provide rare insights into the complex thought processes of one of the most influential writers in the world. Mo Yan’s passion for this work comes across clearly in his lectures and speeches, reinforcing the strong emotions his works evoke in his readers. Many of these speeches have been translated into Japanese and Korean, and they are now finally available in English. From the writers who have influenced him to the relationship between his life and his works, these speeches offer an extraordinary window in Mo Yan’s world and will help us appreciate his works even more.

Read an excerpt (“I used to be so scared of ghosts and monsters, but I have never encountered any… and now it’s human beings that really strike fear in me.”—Mo Yan ) from chapter 15, “Fear and Hope” here. Continue reading

Strange Bedfellows

Strange Bedfellows by Liu Zhenyun (Cambria Press) has just been published.
Paperback (ISBN: 9781621967026)  $29.99 • 268pp. • E-book editions start at $8.99—Order from Cambria Press.

Strange Bedfellows, a novel by Liu Zhenyun, China’s most renowned writer of satire, and translated by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Lin, is a farcical tale of sibling devotion, sexual exploitation, and official corruption, all played out more or less in bed. Though a critique of new mercenary values, scam artists, and the common folks’ vulnerability to scam artists, the novel is also an oblique compliment to the resourcefulness of these folks in a changing China.

The strange bedfellows from various parts of China include Niu Xiaoli, a country girl who borrows money from a hometown loan shark to find a new wife for her brother, whose first wife ran off with another man. When the second wife runs off with the money for the arrangement, Xiaoli goes on a search for her, only to end up prey to a high-class madam, who teaches her to become a “fake-virgin” prostitute. Xiaoli begins a life of fleecing the wealthy and powerful.

One of Xiaoli’s clients is Li Anbang, the governor of a certain province, who faces arrest and possible execution for bribe-taking. A practitioner of black magic recommends that Li sleeps with a virgin to solve his problems. And thereon the twists and turns continue.

Liu’s trenchant criticism and fast-paced, humorous narrative is a delight to read. The irony that those exploiting the people end up being exploited themselves will not be lost on readers. Continue reading

Paper Republic no. 4

Here at the Ides of August (well, close enough), we bring you portentous news: there’s been a changing of the guard at Paper Republic! Our esteemed colleague Yvette Zhu is stepping down from management team duties, owing to the time pressures of her actual job, that pays her an actual salary. She’s has served admirably during this time. In fact her greatest contributions have yet to see the light of day – but more about that soon! We are sorry to see her go, and secretly hope she’ll be back soon.

In the meantime, this sad news is balanced out by the addition of three new members to Paper Republic’s management team: please welcome Jennifer Wong, Megan Copeland, and Danny Parrot to the dugout! Each has their own quite distinct background, and brings their own strengths to the team. We really look forward to expanding our roster of projects with their help.

What’s happening, otherwise? It’s Women in Translation month, that’s what! Worlds Without Borders has a list of 11 translated books by Asian women writers, and you can also check out US PEN, Lithub, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses and many other locales for relevant reading lists. We also note that there’s currently no way to search the Paper Republic database for works by female writers, translated by female translators, and we resolve to add that capability. Continue reading

The Offense of HK Cinema

Dear colleagues,

You are welcome to join the book launch zoom meeting on 10 September 2021 at 1100 Hrs (+8 GMT) Hong Kong and Singapore time. Thank you for your attention (and attendance)! Please go to this registration link.

“The Offense of Hong Kong Cinema: Censorship and Creativity”
Book launch of Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow: Hong Kong Cinema with Sino-links in Politics, Art, and Tradition (Hong Kong: Chunghwa Bookstore, 2021), by Kenny K.K. Ng
吳國坤:《昨天今天明天:內地與香港電影的政治、藝術與傳統》(香港: 中華書局(香港)有限公司,2021)

“Confucius never talked about strange phenomena, physical violence, social chaos, or spirits” (子不語怪力亂神). In the 1930s the Nationalist government implemented film censorship which resonated with the Confucian teachings intended to maintain social harmony and political stability. Cantonese pictures, ghost and fantasy genres, racy and racially insulting Hollywood images were baleful weeds that threatened to disrupt national security. After 1949, British officials in Hong Kong exercised clandestine measures to quarantine Communist movies, pro-Taiwan pictures, and politically provocative Hollywood productions to stabilize colonial rule; meanwhile the mainland Communist authorities continued to exorcise the demonic and undesirable spirits from their state-owned screens. Continue reading

Paper Republic 3

Hello again! You must have been champing at the bit to receive this next issue of our newsletter. Well you need wait no longer. It’s been a busy time for the PR management team, what with the delights that were the Aberdeen Festival of Chinese Translation and Bristol Translates as well as our working toward some big announcements we can make soon. Watch this space. Then there’s the small matters of the welcome distraction, the Olympics, followed eagerly by Nicky and Emily, upcoming camping trips for Jack and Eric, and big work projects and exams for Yvette and Lirong.

Anyway, first for a little housekeeping. Remember back to May 2020? (I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell if it feels like yesterday or ten years ago with the past year and a bit the world has had.) So whether you do remember or not, a reminder: Paper Republic collaborated with Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing to run Give-it-a-go, bringing together 124 translators plus ourselves to have a go at translating Deng Anqing’s “Forty Days: Growing Closer to My Parents during Quarantine” (read the joint translation here). Since then, this piece and others from the Epidemic Series have been translated into Spanish, hereherehere and here, plus, I believe, into Slovenian, somewhere. The new good news is that, more recently, Deng’s account of lockdown at home is now available in Danish, in DanmarkKina magazine #115. It feels good for PR to have played a role in giving these stories a broader, more international readership. Continue reading


The first issue of Yeshe: A Journal of Tibetan Literature, Arts and Humanities, is now live now. Here is the link: Shely Bhoil and I founded the journal last year. It publishes English translations of short stories, poetry, and essays by Tibetan writers originally written in Tibetan and Chinese, as well as interviews, book reviews, and academic articles on literature, art, and history.
All the best,

Schiaffini-Vedani, Patricia <>