HK Lit in Translation

Louise Law, Project Director, Spicy Fish Cultural Production Limited
Thursday, October 6, 2022
5:30-6:45 pm PT, HYBRID (In Person & Online)
Free and open to the public. Registration required.

The University of San Francisco Center for Asia Pacific Studies and the Asian Studies Program welcome writer and editor Louise Law for a discussion of Hong Kong literature in translation—a discussion of a literary landscape that reflects the complicated geographic, linguistic, and political history of the city itself. What exactly are we talking about when we talk about Hong Kong Literature, especially in translation? How many works have been translated into English and how many have yet to be uncovered? This talk will give an overview of Hong Kong Literature in the past 70 years, highlighting key writers who are representative of the spirit of Hong Kong.

After a short lecture, Louise Law will engage in a conversation with award-winning literary translators Jennifer Feeley and Andrea Lingenfelter, followed by Q&A with the audience. Continue reading

Translatability/Transmediality: Chinese Poetry in/and the World

Translatability/Transmediality: Chinese Poetry in/and the World
UC Santa Barbara-Lingnan Symposium
Zoom Meeting: 852 7018 7236
Passcode: 593906\

October 7, 8-10 am PT / 11 am-1 pm ET / 11 pm-1 am GMT +8
Session 1

Yunte Huang and Hangping Xu: Welcome and opening remarks

Haun Saussy: Ways of Reading Worlds in Chinese Poetry

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

Xiaorong Li: Globalizing Chinese Sensual-Sentimental Lyricism: Zhou Shoujuan’s Xiangyan Conghua

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

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

Qizi “On a Bus of Romanticism”

In response to the NYT article on the tragic bus crash, here’s a poem by Qizi that I have translated into English.–Martin Winter


Are you on a hurtling bus too?
Have you ever thought
of jumping out with me
to fall down and die
on the earth
of realism?

Tr. Martin Winter, September 2022




See my blog, with pictures by Qizi (from Weibo) Thanks to Sidse Laugesen for important feedback!

Martin Winter

Wild Grass/Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk

Wild Grass and Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk by Lu Xun
Translated by Eileen J. Cheng and edited by Theodore Huters  (Harvard University Press, 2022)

Book Description

This captivating translation assembles two volumes by Lu Xun, the founder of modern Chinese literature and one of East Asia’s most important thinkers at the turn of the twentieth century. Wild Grass and Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk represent a pinnacle of achievement alongside Lu Xun’s famed short stories.

In Wild Grass, a collection of twenty-three experimental pieces, surreal scenes come alive through haunting language and vivid imagery. These are landscapes populated by ghosts, talking animals, and sentient plants, where a protagonist might come face-to-face with their own corpse. By depicting the common struggle of real and imagined creatures to survive in an inhospitable world, Lu Xun asks the deceptively simple question, “What does it mean to be human?”

Alongside Wild Grass is Morning Blossoms Gathered at Dusk, a memoir in eight essays capturing the literary master’s formative years and featuring a motley cast of dislocated characters—children, servants, outcasts, the dead and the dying. Giving voice to vulnerable subjects and depicting their hopes and despair as they negotiate an unforgiving existence, Morning Blossoms affirms the value of all beings and elucidates a central predicament of the human condition: feeling without a home in the world. Continue reading

The Backstreets

Source: NYT (9/14/22)
A Uyghur Author and Translator Were Detained. Now, Their Novel Speaks For Them.
Writing and translating “The Backstreets,” a book about the oppressive environment faced by Uyghurs in China, was a danger to those involved.
By Tiffany May

Perhat Tursun in Xinjiang, 2010.

Perhat Tursun in Xinjiang, 2010. Credit…Nijat Hushur

Perhat Tursun was eager for his novel, “The Backstreets,” to come out in the United States. It would be the first Uyghur novel to appear in English, and he considered the grim tale of one man’s struggle within an oppressive environment one of his most consequential works.

But Darren Byler, who translated the volume and is a leading scholar on Uyghur culture and Chinese surveillance, was reluctant to go ahead. The text was ready by 2015, but the crackdown on Uyghurs living in China’s far western region of Xinjiang left him concerned for Tursun, and for his Uyghur co-translator. Publishing the book in English, he feared, might heighten their exposure.

Hundreds of Uyghur intellectuals were detained in China as part of a repression campaign targeting predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities that started in 2016, then escalated. Researchers say that as many as one million or more Uyghurs and Kazakhs were sent to indoctrination camps that the government called vocational training programs. Expressions of cultural identity or faith were heavily restricted. The United Nations said that the detentions could be considered “crimes against humanity.”

By 2018, Tursun and Byler’s co-translator, a Uyghur man who asked to remain anonymous, were among those who disappeared into the camps. The New York Times confirmed the co-translator’s identity with Byler and with the book’s publisher, and is withholding his name to protect him from retaliation from the state. Continue reading

Secondhand China

Dear all,

I am pleased to announce the publication of my new book Secondhand China: Spain, the East, and the Politics of Translation (Northwestern University Press, FlashPoints series). Thanks to the support of the eScholarship program, it is also available in open access format here. And you can watch a short book trailer here.

Carles Prado-Fonts <> <>

About the book:

This transcultural study of cultural production brings to light the ways Spanish literature imagined China by relying on English- and French-language sources. Carles Prado-Fonts examines how the simultaneous dependence on and obscuring of translation in these cross-cultural representations created the illusion of a homogeneous West. He argues that Orientalism became an instrument of hegemony not only between “the West and the rest” but also within the West itself, where Spanish writers used representations of China to connect themselves to Europe, hone a national voice, or forward ideas of political and cultural modernity.

Uncovering an eclectic and surprising archive, Prado-Fonts draws on diverse cultural artifacts from popular literature, journalism, and early cinema to offer a rich account of how China was seen across the West between 1880 and 1930. Enrique Gaspar, Luis de Oteyza, Vicente Blasco Ibáñez, and lesser-known authors writing in Spanish and Catalan put themselves in dialogue with Leo Tolstoy, John Dewey, W. Somerset Maugham, Bertrand Russell, Pearl Buck, and André Malraux, as well as stereotypical figures from popular culture like Fu Manchu and Charlie Chan. Throughout, Prado-Fonts exposes translation as a technology of cultural hegemony and China as an appealing object for representation. A timely contribution to our understanding of how we create and consume knowledge about the world, Secondhand China is essential reading for scholars and students of Orientalism, postcolonial studies, translation studies, comparative literature, and cultural studies. Continue reading

#WomeninTranslation month

#WomeninTranslation month: Paper Republic publishes a Month of Women Poets

Paper Republic is proud to present A Month of Chinese Women Poets, to mark #WomeninTranslation Month. From Alice Xiang, the series editor: “Born in the ’50s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, the poets in this series write from vantage points that span the PRC’s decades of vertiginous change. Yet it goes without saying that the series is not ‘representative’ in even the most modest sense of the word. It offers a few glimpses into contemporary Chinese poetry, several framings of the experience of womanhood, mere slivers of the polyphonic, transnational Sinophone literary universe. The series is an invitation……”

Dip in and enjoy!

Nicky Harman <>

Paper Republic no. 15

Hey all 500+ of you! (One milestone down!) We’re jumping right into the news in this instalment since it’s a little overdue. Do keep your eyes peeled on the Paper Republic website for a new Read Paper Republic series in the very, very near future. This one is guest-edited and includes some of our favourite Chinese poets and translators.

Extracts, stories and poems:


Continue reading

The Golden Age review

Source: NYT (7/26/22)
Sex Confessions and Protest From a Disillusioned Communist
Wang Xiaobo’s “The Golden Age” is a novel of lust and loss during China’s Cultural Revolution.
By Ian Johnson

Wang Xiaobo. Credit…Wang Xiaoping

In 1991, a little-known writer in Beijing named Wang Xiaobo mailed the manuscript of a novel to the eminent historian Cho-yun Hsu, his former professor at the University of Pittsburgh. The book was about China’s Cultural Revolution, the political purge from 1966 to 1976 that killed more than a million people and sent scientists, writers, artists and millions of educated youths to labor in the countryside.

At the time Wang was writing, novels about the Cultural Revolution tended to be fairly conventional tales of how good people suffered nobly during this decade of madness. The system itself was rarely called into question. Wang’s book was radically different. THE GOLDEN AGE (Astra House, 272 pp., $26) — the title itself was a provocation — told the tragic-absurd story of a young man who is exiled, witnesses suicide, endures bullying and beatings by local officials … and spends as much time as possible having sex.

Professor Hsu forwarded the manuscript to the judges of one of Taiwan’s most prominent literary prizes. Wang’s story of lust and loss won, stunning China’s literary world and turning the author into one of the country’s most influential and popular novelists. Continue reading

Ecologies of Translation in East and South East Asia

Li Guo, Patricia Sieber, and Peter Kornicki have published a new book entitled Ecologies of Translation in East and South East Asia, 1600-1900 (Amsterdam University Press, 2022). It is the first volume that examines the formation of new semi-literary, semi-colloquial forms of vernacular writing within early modern China and among the neighboring countries in the Sinographic sphere (Japan, Korea, and Vietnam) from the comparative vantage point of Translation Studies. As such, it not only enriches our understanding of specific translation practices across the region, but also demonstrates that the transregional uses of a non-alphabetic graphic technology call for different models of translation theory.

Patricia Sieber


Yan Lianke event

Dear Friends,

I write to invite you, and those you know who might be interested, to join us in an online book club conversation about the novel Hard Like Water 坚硬如水 with author Yan Lianke and long-term collaborator and translator Carlos Rojas.  We will hold the event both in-person and online (online registration) on August 11th from 7-9PM ET.  Please click this link or the graphic below for more details.


Alex Nickley
Interim Assistant Director
Asian/Pacific Studies Institute –
Duke University, Durham, NC
email: | office: 919-684-2783

Travel, Translation and Transmedia Aesthetics review

MCLC Resource Center is pleased to announce publication of Robert Moore’s review of Travel, Translation and Transmedia Aesthetics: Franco-Chinese Literature and Visual Arts in a Global Age, by Shuangyi Li. The review appears below and at its online home: My thanks to Michael Hill, our book review editor for translations/translation studies, for ushering the review to publication.

Kirk Denton, MCLC

Travel, Translation and Transmedia Aesthetics:
Franco-Chinese Literature and Visual Arts in a Global Age

By Shuangyi Li

Reviewed by Robert Moore

MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright June, 2022)

Shuangyi Li, Travel, Translation and Transmedia Aesthetics: Franco-Chinese Literature and Visual Arts in a Global Age. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021. 267 pp. ISBN 978-9811655616 (cloth).

Shuangyi Li’s Travel, Translation and Transmedia Aesthetics: Franco-Chinese Literature and Visual Arts in a Global Age is a long-form study of four Franco-Chinese writers: Gao Xingjian 高行健, Shan Sa 山颯, Dai Sijie 戴思杰, and François Cheng 程抱一. All were born and raised in China but moved to France during early adulthood and compose works in French. All are also recipients of numerous awards, and one, François Cheng, is a member of the Académie Française, the first Asian-born person to be so honored. Li’s strategy is to demonstrate that all four share a recognizable aesthetic, one that is transmedial and transnational, and only emerges when we are able to understand how the cultures and languages with which they work influence each other simultaneously.

Chapter 1 is an introduction that lays out the conceptual framework for the study. Chapter 2 leads with a short consideration of some of the principal concerns of all four writers before launching into a long analysis of François Cheng’s Le Dit de Tianyi (The River Below in English translation). Chapter 3 discusses historically-minded works by Cheng, Shan, and Dai, with a particular eye on how images and motifs from ancient China can be re-presented and re-imagined in French. Chapter 4 looks at the way calligraphy influences, and is influenced by, the fiction of the same three writers. Chapter 5 concludes the main body of the study with a consideration of how Dai Sijie’s fiction, and Gao Xingjian’s painting, interact with each writer’s respective cinematic interests. Continue reading

Song Translation Studies awards (2021-22)

Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2021–2022) 
宋淇翻譯研究論文紀念獎 2021–2022
1 July 2022

It is with great pleasure that I hereby announce the result for the 24th Stephen C. Soong Translation Studies Memorial Awards (2021–2022) set up by Research Centre for Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

WANG Shengyu (School of Chinese Language and Literature, Soochow University)
“Chinese Folklore for the English Public: Herbert A. Giles’s 1880 Translation of Pu Songling’s Classical Tales”, Comparative Literature 73, No. 4 (December 2021), pp. 442-462.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Professor Wang Shengyu and extend my thanks to all who submitted their papers for consideration. Call for submissions for the 25th Stephen C. Soong Awards will be announced in January 2023.

For more information, please visit us at

Yours Sincerely

Lawrence Wang-chi Wong
Director, Research Centre for Translation
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Continue reading

U of Warwick position

The University of Warwick invites applications for a 3-year fixed-term post, 0.7 FTE, of Teaching Fellow in Chinese Translation and Transcultural Studies (teaching only) at the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, to start in September 2022. The closing date for applications is fast approaching on 4 July 2022.

The successful candidate will have previous experience of teaching translation studies at higher education level; they will have a postgraduate qualification, and an excellent command of spoken and written Chinese and English. They will be expected to teach and supervise postgraduate students to a high standard, and to participate as appropriate in the administration of departmental and School-wide activities, with a particular focus on duties related to Overseas Admissions at PG level. They will be familiar with the UK postgraduate experience and prepared to support our lively and engaged body of postgraduate students both academically and as a personal tutor.

For further details and submitting an application please click here. Online interviews will be held on 14 July 2022.

Please contact Dr Mila Milani, Translation and Transcultural Studies Lead (School of Modern Languages and Cultures), if you have any questions or require more information.

Qian Liu
Assistant professor in translation and Chinese studies
School of Modern Languages and Cultures
University of Warwick