Hospital review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Mingwei Song’s review of Hospital, by Han Song, translated by Michael Berry. The review appears below and at its online home: My thanks to Michael Hill, our translations/translation studies book review editor, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC


By Han Song

Translated by Michael Berry

Reviewed by Mingwei Song

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright September, 2023)

Han Song, Hospital Tr. Michael Berry. Seattle, WA: Amazon Crossing, 2023. 413 pp. ISBN: 978-1542039468 (paper).

Han Song 韩松 (b. 1965) is one of the most prolific Chinese science fiction (SF) writers. Only a portion of his writings has seen publication, but this already includes about one hundred short stories and eight major novels: Mars over America 火星照耀美国 (2000), Red Ocean 红色海洋 (2004), Subway 地铁 (2010), High-Speed Rail 高铁 (2012), Tracks 轨道 (2013), Hospital 医院 (2016), Exorcism 驱魔 (2017), and Dead Souls 亡灵 (2018). Han Song is also a poet, a journalist, a chronicler of everyday events, and a writer of all sorts of social commentaries, ranging from editorials to blogs and micro-blogs. It is almost impossible to read all that Han Song has published, and he has many manuscripts that remain unpublished.

A disciple of Lu Xun 魯迅 (1881-1936), whose short story “A Madman’s Diary” 狂人日記 (1918) opened readers’ eyes to the invisible evils of society and led them to seek deeper truths that lurk beneath the surface, Han Song, a senior journalist for China’s Xinhua News Agency, knows too well that what is invisible matters even more than the visible in the broad daylight of present-day China. Like Lu Xun, he is drawn to the power of darkness, and Lu Xun-esque phantoms and paradoxical metaphors permeate Han Song’s chthonic literary visions. Han Song has suggested that “China’s reality has now become more science fictional than science fiction.”[1] If China’s formidable and forbidden, amorphous and alienated, uncertain and unpredictable reality is difficult or impossible to describe with traditional literary discourse based on the principle of mimesis, it comes into light in speculative fictional storytelling. Because of writers like Han Song, SF—this marginalized, insignificant genre—has achieved a meaningful status as a unique literary form to represent those unsettling, abstruse, clandestine images coming from the terra incognita bordering China’s proper “reality” and outside its ordinary literary landscape. Continue reading

I Love Bill and Other Stories

I Love Bill and Other StoriesNEW PUBLICATION
I Love Bill and Other Stories, by Wang Anyi
Translated by Todd Foley
Foreword by Xudong Zhang
Cornell East Asia Series
ISBN13: 9781501771071
ISBN10: 1501771078
Publication date: 09/15/2023
Pages: 260

I Love Bill and Other Stories showcases the work of Wang Anyi, one of China’s most prolific and highly regarded writers, in two novellas and three short stories.

A young artist’s life spirals out of control when she drops out of school to pursue a series of unfulfilling relationships with foreign men. A performance troupe struggles to adapt to a changing China at the end of the Cultural Revolution. The head of an isolated village arranges a youth’s posthumous marriage to an unknown soldier, only to have the soldier’s former lover unexpectedly turn up. A fun trip takes an unexpected turn when two young women are kidnapped and sold off as brides. A boy’s bout with typhoid provides an intimate look at family life in Shanghai’s longtang alleys.

Wang Anyi is president of the Shanghai Writers’ Association and professor at Fudan University. She has received the Mao Dun Literature Prize, and her works in English translation include BaotownThe Song of Everlasting Sorrow, and Fuping.

Posted by: Todd Foley <>

Paris in the Springtime

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Paul Bevan’s introduction to and translation of “Paris in the Springtime,” by Shao Xunmei. This translation appears in conjunction with the recent publication of One Man Talking: Selected Essays of Shao Xunmei, 1929-1939, translated by Paul Bevan and Susan Daruvala. A teaser appears below. For the full introduction and translation, see:

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Paris in the Springtime

By Shao Xunmei 邵洵美

Translated by Paul Bevan

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright September 2023)

Introduction: Shao Xunmei, a Chinese Poet in 1920s Paris
By Paul Bevan

Portrait of Shao by the artist Xu Beihong 徐悲鴻.

Shao Xunmei (1906-68) was a poet, essayist, and publisher. Today, he is best known for his poetry, which mostly belongs to the period when he was a young man in his twenties inspired by the Decadent poets of nineteenth-century Europe. His lesser-known essays, written during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, cover all sorts of different topics, from the poetry of Sappho to the art of the woodblock print, from Shanghai in wartime to Chinese philately. Arguably his greatest contribution to the culture of the Chinese Republican Era (1912-49) was in publishing. During the 1920s and 1930s, Shao Xunmei published an array of pictorial magazines, so important that they did nothing less than define the era, in their celebration of the unique culture that developed in China’s most cosmopolitan city, Shanghai, at a time of great change. In addition to his own magazines, Shao was also responsible for the publication of many other periodicals, in his capacity as printer and editor. The essays translated in the book One Man Talking were all published in Shao’s own magazines between the years 1929 and 1939, and give a good idea of the breadth of his interests.

This short prose piece, “Paris in the Springtime” 巴黎的春天 (which does not appear in the book and was translated specially for MCLC), was published in 1929, three years after Shao Xunmei returned from Europe to China. It describes his movements whilst in Paris on a brief visit from Cambridge, where he was studying towards the university entrance exams. The cover of the book One Man Talking shows a portrait of Shao taken in a Parisian photographic studio in 1926, which was almost certainly posed for at the time of this visit. It has a handwritten greeting in Chinese to his friends and landlords in Cambridge, Rev. A.C. Moule and his wife, and was sent to them from Paris.[1]

Cover of One Man Talking.

In Shao’s poetic introduction the sun drips like honey; the warm breeze has audible footsteps; the tree is female, and she expresses herself in a variety of different ways, depending on who passes beneath her vast green canopy of leaves and branches.

Shao was a young man of his time, and in his writing we sometimes find references to women that do not read well today. This short essay is no exception. The tree giggles when young women pass beneath it, but is dismissive of middle-aged women because they are no longer young. Shao’s description of the artists’ model, though brief, typically objectifies the sitter, and the naïve, even childish ending to the essay brings in the rather self-conscious and unimaginative reference to the “amorous feelings of spring.” Despite these shortcomings, the essay as a whole displays much charm, and is written in a style that is typical of his writings of the time, with a nod towards the use of a descriptive language that shows his poetic aspirations. Above all, the essay provides an excellent indication as to what Shao Xunmei’s pastimes were during the time he spent in Paris as a man of leisure. It also gives an impression of his interests more broadly, interests with which he was able to fully indulge himself while he lived in Cambridge. [READ THE FULL PIECE HERE]

One Man Talking

New Publication
Paul Bevan and Susan Daruvala (eds.), One Man Talking: Selected Essays of Shao Xunmei, 1929-1939 (Hong Kong: City University of Hong Kong Press, 2023).

Shao Xunmei, poet, essayist, publisher and printer, played a signi­ficant role in the publication and dissemination of journals and pictorial magazines in Shanghai during the 1920s and 1930s. Shao’s poetry has been translated by several prominent scholars through the years, but remarkably few of his essays have received the same attention, and this is the first collection of his prose writings to have been published in English. Shao has been described by a phalanx of scholars as the most seriously underestimated modern cultural Chinese fi­gure. This collection of his writings joins several recent publications that aim to raise Shao’s literary and historical profile. It will appeal to a broad swathe of readers interested in the transnational and transcultural dimensions of twentieth-century experience that have become so important for contemporary scholarship.

The essays in this book, some of which were selected by the writer’s daughter, Shao Xiaohong, include long essays such as “One Man Talking” and “A Year in Shanghai”, as well as several shorter essays on subjects as diverse as the caricatures of Miguel Covarrubias, woodblock printing, and pictorial magazines, all of which were published in Shao’s own magazines. Although his essays may be less well known than those of other writers of the same period, without his unique and valuable contribution, the literary, artistic and poetic worlds of twentieth-century Shanghai would have been very different indeed. Continue reading

For a Splendid Sunny Apocalypse

New Publication
For a Splendid Sunny Apocalypse
By Jiang Tao; Translator Josh Stenber

In these melancholy and self-mocking poems — populated with youths and elders, cellphones and televisions — Jiang Tao presents and dissects a discontent with the state of the world. He employs his profound wit and poetic mastery to explore the passage of time, rural-urban migration, change and impermanence, and the difficulties of human communication and connection. Jiang Tao’s verse is, as translator Josh Stenberg has written, “a quintessential expression of urban malaise in contemporary China.” This is his first book to appear in English and is presented bilingually on facing pages.

Jiang Tao’s poetry is laid back, ironic, and human above all. … This book is a beautiful new chapter in the story of Chinese poetry in English.—Maghiel van Crevel

Jiang Tao is a Beijing-based poet, literary critic, translator, and historian, known as much for his wry, cerebral verse as his ground-breaking studies of Republican (1911-49) literature. An Associate Professor at Peking University, he has held literary residencies in Japan, Taiwan, and the United States. His first collection Bird Sutras was published in 2005, and he has since published Four Poems and Mourning for Sometimes. He won the Liu Li’an Prize for Poetry in 1997.

Translator Josh Stenberg is a Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney and a holder of a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council. He is the author of Minority Stages: Sino-Indonesian Performance and Public Display (2019) and Liyuanxi: Chinese ‘Pear Garden’ Theatre (2022) as well as the translator of five books of contemporary Chinese literature.

Tie Ning wins PEN Translates grant

Source: English Pen (8/22/23)
China’s premier female author Tie Ning wins PEN Translates grant from English Pen

The Buttonless Red Shirt (没有纽扣的红衬衫), her bestselling novella, will be translated from Chinese into English by Annelise Finegan and published by Sinoist Books.

Distinguished Chinese author Tie Ning (铁凝) has been honoured with the prestigious PEN Translates Grant from English PEN. The award underscores Tie Ning’s contribution to the global literary landscape and highlights the importance of bridging cultures through the power of words.

“These thirteen books are significant works of literature – individually, in their quality; and collectively, in how they help shift the UK literary landscape. We have major figures – International Booker-winning authors and translators – sitting alongside exciting debut voices, with stunningly experimental work. The range of language and region represented is remarkable, but so too is the range of form, readership, theme and style. We’re thrilled to support these books, and excited for English-language readers to be able to buy them and enjoy them.” – Will Forrester, Translation and International Manager at English PEN

With an impressive body of work that has captured the hearts of readers in her native China, Tie Ning is known for the exquisite way she renders everyday people, and the realism she imparts, especially with her female characters.
The Buttonless Red Shirt is one of Tie Ning’s earliest successes. It’s a semi-autobiographical novella that draws on the relationship between the author and her sister. The novella documents both characters maturing into their roles. It conveys delicate and vivid descriptions of their lives while preserving the beauty contained in the trivial every day. Continue reading

Babel of Chinese SF Aug. event

Babel of Chinese SF August Event
Lu Hang on “Tongji Bridge:” When Tradition Meets Robotics
To join us, send an email to for the event link!
Beijing Time: 20:00, August 11, 2023.
UK Summer Time: 13:00, August 11, 2023.

Fiction: “Tongji Bridge” by Lu Hang
Translated by Li Yi

Chinese Version:

English Version: In Galaxy Awards 1: Chinese Science Fiction Anthology (

Walk across Tongji, ward off worries.
I knew that the unison cheering would turn into diverse comments once I took off the Lion Head at the closing of the show. What a miserable imitator and disgrace to the national essence, some might criticize; or, what a genius innovator and ground breaker, others might applaud. However, I did not do this to get their feedback.

But, for my seventh great-uncle to watch a dragon and lion dance show once more.

Or better, if our performance attracted new interest, and new apprentices came to learn the traditional art from us. I would pass it on without reservation to anyone who would dedicate themselves to the art, no matter where that person was from, or rather, no matter that was a person or not. (From “Tongji Bridge” By Lu Hang) Continue reading

Mei Niang’s Long-Lost Writings

Mei Niang’s Long-Lost First Writings: Young Lady’s Collection
By Norman Smith. Routledge, 2023.

In 1944, the novel Xie (Crabs) by Mei Niang (1916-2013) was honored with the Japanese Empire’s highest literary award, Novel of the Year. Then, at the peak of her popularity, Mei Niang published in Japanese-owned, Chinese-language journals and newspapers in the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo (1932-1945), Japan, and north China. Contemporaries lauded her writings, especially for introducing liberalism to Manchuria’s literary world. In Maoist China, however, Mei Niang was condemned as a traitor and a Rightist with her life and career torn to shreds until her formal vindication in the late 1970s. In 1997, Mei Niang was named one of “Modern China’s 100 Writers.” The collection that is translated in this volume, Xiaojie ji (Young lady’s collection), was published in 1936, when she was 19 years old. Long thought forever lost in the violence of China’s civil war and Maoist strife, the collection was only re-discovered in 2019.

This is the first book-length, English-language translation of the work of this high-profile, prolific New Woman writer from Northeast China. Mei Niang’s Long-Lost First Writings will appeal to those interested in Chinese literature, the Japanese Empire, historic fiction, history, women’s/gender history, and students in undergraduate and graduate level courses. To date, English-language volumes of translated Chinese literature have rarely focused on Manchukuo’s Chinese writers or centered on those who left the puppet state by 1935. This volume fills an important historical lacuna – a teenaged Chinese woman’s views of life and literature in Japanese-occupied Manchuria.

Translation and Power–cfp update

Announcement of Rescheduled Conference

The following is issued on behalf of The Fourth International Conference on Chinese Translation History Secretariat: We would like to inform you that in consultation with the Committee, The Fourth International Conference on Chinese Translation History originally scheduled for 16-18 December 2023, has been rescheduled to 14-16 December 2023 on CUHK Campus, Hong Kong. Thanks for everyone’s kind understanding.

Translation and Power: The Fourth International Conference on Chinese Translation Histor
Call for Papers
Organizer: Research Centre for Translation (RCT), The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Co-organizer: Department of Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Date: 14-16 December 2023 
Application Deadline: 15 August 2023
Venue: The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

The“International Conference on Chinese Translation History” series organized by the Research Centre for Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, explores Chinese translation history within the bigger framework of world civilization and human thought. It aims to lay groundwork for new models, methods, and perspectives in this innovative interdisciplinary branch of learning through detailed case studies. Since 2015, the conference series have been held every two years, with a different central theme for every conference. The fourth conference focuses on the broad spectrum of issues pertaining to the concept of translation and power in Chinese translation history. Continue reading

Liang Hong’s ‘The Sacred Clan’

Source: The China Project (6/30/23)
‘The Sacred Clan’: Liang Hong turns to fiction to explore rural China
Realism and the supernatural mix in Liang Hong’s “The Sacred Clan,” a collection of short stories that continues the author’s lifelong work of capturing rural China.
By Jonathan Chatwin

Illustration for The China Project by Derek Zheng

“Without some exposure to the Chinese countryside, nobody should say that they really understand China,” the translator Esther Tyldesley observes when asked about the significance of the work of writer Liáng Hóng 梁鸿.

Over the last 13 years, Liang has established herself as the pre-eminent chronicler of contemporary Chinese rural life. Her 2010 book, published in English as China in One Village, sold hundreds of thousands of copies in China and garnered a medley of literary prizes. It recounted Liang’s experiences as she returned from Beijing to her childhood village in landlocked and traditionally agricultural Henan Province; it was a bleak portrayal of an already traumatized countryside that was now suffering the indignity of being forgotten in China’s pursuit of urban-oriented development. “We have forgotten what a scholar once said,” she wrote in that book. “‘Modernization is a classic tragedy. For every benefit it brings, it asks the people to pay with all they hold of value.’”

Liang continued to write about her home village in two subsequent nonfiction books, to similar acclaim, but the professor of Chinese literature at Renmin University in Beijing has more recently turned to fiction to tell the story of rural China, publishing the novels The Light of Liang Guangzheng (2017) and Four Forms (2021). This summer, a translation of her collection of short stories, The Sacred Clan, is to be published, a book which, as Tyldesley says, “displays life in the rural areas of her province in all its messy, unvarnished, fascinating complexity.” (Tyldesley won a PEN Translates award for her translation of The Sacred Clan.) Continue reading

Chinese SF in Translation July 2023 session

Chinese SF in Translation-July Session-“Upstart” by Lu Ban
“Upstart”/《新贵》by Lu Ban 鲁般
Translated by Blake Stone-Banks
Clarkesworld, no. 195 (December 2022) [The English version of this story is available here.]

Video call with the author Lu Ban
Beijing Time: 9:00, Sunday July 2; Eastern Standard Time: 21:00, Saturday July 1
Online: Zoom-reply to with “Count me in for BCSFG’s next meeting!” and we’ll send you a video call link and password one day before the session.

In “Work, Consumerism and the New Poor” Zygmunt Bauman discusses the concept of the “new poor.” In a postmodern consumer society, a large workforce is no longer required, while the attractiveness of the commodity market ensures people’s compliance with norms and “social discipline.” In this context, those who were once considered the future workforce gradually lose their value: their labor value continues to decrease, and once they become unemployed or lack stable income, they cannot purchase goods, which make their existence less legitimate in the society.  “To disappear without a trace” will be the most desirable outcome for “new poor”. The topic of this discussion, “Upstart,” may be the label for “new poor” in SF world . Continue reading

Prism 20.1

New Publication
Prism Volume 20, Number 1 (March 01, 2023)
Read This Issue


Translatability and Transmediality: Chinese Poetry in/and the World
By Yunte Huang and Hangping Xu

Ways of Reading Worlds in Chinese Poetry
By Haun Saussy

Lyrical Looking and World Visions in Late Qing Poetry on Overseas Journeys
By Shengqing Wu

Globalizing Chinese Sensual-Sentimental Lyricism: Zhou Shoujuan’s Xiangyan conghua (Miscellaneous Talks on the Fragrant and Bedazzling)
By Xiaorong Li

Failures of Diplomatic Intents in Poetry Translation: On Thomas Francis Wade’s Chinese Translation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life”
By Chris Song

Assimilation or Detention: Poetic Form and the Retranslation of the Angel Island Poems
By Lucas Klein

The Russian Imaginary and Modern Chinese Poetry in Taiwan
By Michelle Yeh

Literature as Translation: Bei Dao beyond World Poetry
By Jacob Edmond

Intersections, Interactions, Integrations: Chronological Entanglement of a Chinese Poem
By Cosima Bruno and Lianjun Yan

The Poetry Turn: Writing Chinese Cultural Studies between Empires
By Nick Admussen

China’s Battler Poetry, Zheng Xiaoqiong, and Hypertranslatability
By Maghiel van Crevel

Crossing the World to Sleep with You: Yu Xiuhua’s Poetry as Performance and Its Cross-Cultural Translatability
By Hangping Xu

Food Glorious Food!

A feast of translated stories about food launches Friday 23rd on Paper Republic

This Friday Paper Republic will release the 9th Read Paper Republic series: Food Glorious Food! RPR is a free online publication showcasing translations of contemporary short stories and essays from all over China. This edition includes six enchanting short stories and essays all based on or around one of China’s favourite pastimes: eating. It has everything, from reminiscences about favourite family meals, to kidnap at the hands of a food delivery driver, by writers Xu Xiaobin, Hong Ying, Wu Ang, Sabrina Huang, Yang Shuangzi, and Zheng Zhi, all translated by up-and-coming literary translators. We will be publishing one a week for the next six weeks, so keep watching our channels for the new releases. With original artwork by Brenda Chi .

Click here on Friday 23rd June (live from 7am UK time):

Posted by: Nicky HARMAN <>

Into the Desert review

Source: World Literature 世界文学 (forthcoming in the bilingual journal World Literature accessible online at
“Journey to Spiritualism in the Novel Into the Desert by Xuemo”
By Dian Li (University of Arizona)

Cover of Into the Desert

Xuemo’s novel Into the Desert begins with this sentence: “Mountains of sand reached into the sky, dropping the sun closer to the grounds than when they’d set out.” Here “they,” as we quickly learn, are a father-daughter pair embarking on a nighttime trip into the desert. As we appreciate the beauty of the desert led on by this sentence, we are also besieged by the ominous feeling of a coming disaster: the reference to a fox (never a lucky animal in Chinese folklore), the howling wind and the bitter cold (often signs of the destructive forces of nature). Two pages later, the daughter, who was just nine years old, was left alone by her father: “She sat down to wait for Papa. Drowsiness slowly descended and enshrouded her like an enormous net.”

The abandonment of a child is a cruelty that no one can bear, worse yet, imagining how this child would have fared by herself in the unforgiving desert disturbs us endlessly, giving us a lingering anticipation that will foreshadow our transition from the Prologue to the main story of the novel, which turns out to be an extensive journey into the same desert, a place of both fear and spirituality.

“Early in the morning, before the sun made an appearance, Ying’er and Lanlan left their village for the salt lakes in the heart of the Gobi.” So begins the long journey into the desert in Chapter 1, which is cast in a detached but suggestive third-person narration rich in verbs but stingy in adjectives. We will find this style to be characteristic of Xuemo, a contemporary Chinese writer who has already enthralled many English readers with several translated works of fiction. Undoubtedly, many more will embrace him with this novel that was masterfully translated by Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin. Continue reading

Babel of Chinese SF: A Reading Group

Chinese SF in translation-May Session-“Starship: Library” by Jiang Bo and translated by Xuetitng Ni
Babel of Chinese SF: A Reading Group

We are a monthly online meet-up that reads, shares and discusses Chinese language sci-fi and speculative fiction in translation
Wechat: 科幻巴别塔

Upcoming: May Session

“Starship: Library” / 《宇宙尽头的书店》
by Jiang Bo 江波
Translated by Xueting Christine Ni 倪雪亭
Included in Sinopticon: A Celebration of Chinese Science Fiction
Video call with the author Jiang Bo and the translator Xueting Christine Ni

Beijing Time: 20:00, May 28th, 2023.
British Summer Time: 13:00, May 28th, 2023. Continue reading