Nicky Harman lives in the UK. She taught on the MSc in Translation at Imperial College until 2011 and now translates full-time from Chinese. She focusses on fiction, poetry and occasionally literary non-fiction, by authors such as Chen Xiwo, Han Dong, Hong Ying, Dorothy Tse, Xinran, Yan Geling and Zhang Ling. She is a regular contributor to the literary magazines Chutzpah, and Words Without Borders, and also organizes translation-focused events, mentors new translators and was one of the judges for the Harvill Secker Young Translators Prize 2012.
Currently working on:
A collection of novellas by Chen Xiwo to be published by MakeDo Publishing, autumn 2014.
White Horse, novella by Yan Ge, Hope Road Publishing, autumn 2014.
A collection of novellas by Xue Mo, winter 2014.
Other 2014 publications:
The Unbearable Dreamworld of Champa the Driver by Chan Koon-chung, Doubleday, April 2014.
Snow and Shadow, short story collection by Dorothy Tse, East Slope Publishing, March 2014.
A New Development Model and China’s Future, by Deng Yingtao, Routledge, March, 2014.
The Stone Ox that Grazed, short story by Sun Yisheng in Asymptote, April 2014.
A Loud Noise, poems by Han Dong, March 2014.
Other Published Translations in date order:
Urban Control and the Modernist City - essay by Leung Man-Tao, in LA Review of Books, originally appeared in Paper Republic, August 2013.
Woman Fish, by Dorothy Tse, for the Guardian newspaper, March 2013
The Shades who Periscope through Flowers to the Sky, by Sun Yisheng, for Words Without Borders, December 2012, and Dad, Your Name is Bao Tian, by Sun Yisheng, for The World of Chinese, March 2013.
Old Man Xinjiang, by Xue Mo, in China Stories for the Guardian newspaper, April 2012.
The Man with the Knife by Chen Xiwo, for Words Without Borders, November 2012
'Goodbye to Anne', in the novella collection The Road of Others, by Anni Baobei, Makedo Publishing, 2012.
Throwing out the Baby, by Xu Zechen, in Words Without Border, April 2012.
Shi Cheng: Short Stories from Urban China, Comma Press "Tales from Ten Cities" series, the two by Han Dong and Ding Liying, 2012
Flowers of Nanjing by Yan Geling, , published by Chatto and Windus, January 2012
A Phone Call from Dalian: Selected Poems by Han Dong, published by Zephyr Press, April 2012. Multiple reviews including World Literature Today and Peony Moon
The Eye of the Eagle, short story by Bai Hua, published by Hope Road Publishing
Prize-winning novel Gold Mountain Blues/Jin Shan by Zhang Ling, published by Penguin Canada
Short stories for Ou Ning's Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture, 2009, and literary magazine Chutzpah, 2010 and 2011.
Message from Unknown Chinese Mothers (Author: Xinran), Chatto & Windus, 2010.
China Witness (author: Xinran), oral history
Co-translator with Esther Tyldesley and Julia Lovell. Chatto & Windus , 2008.
Banished! (author: Han Dong) (《扎根》 韩东), novel.
University of Hawai’i Press, 2009. Won a PEN Translation Fund Award (2006) for this work. Longlisted for Man Asian Literary Prize, 2008.
‘Long Corridor, Short Song’ (author: Zi Ren, in To Pierce the Material Screen: An Anthology of 20th Century HK Literature, to be pub. Renditions, Hong Kong 2008); (《长廊的短调》 梓人) short story.
China Along the Yellow River (author: Prof. Cao Jinqing, pub. Routledge Curzon, December 2004); (《黄河边的中国》 曹锦清) sociology of rural China.
K – The Art of Love (author: Hong Ying, pub. Marion Boyars, 2002); (《K》 虹影) novel.
BEYOND TRANSLATING – MY OTHER ACTIVITIES
Harvill Secker Young Translator Prize I was a judge for this prize
for the year 2012, when the language was Chinese and the author whose work entrants translated was Han Dong.
Translator-in-Residence I was Translator-in-Residence at London’s Free Word Centre, in the autumn of 2011, organizing a programme of talks and workshops which focused on Chinese and on translation but were intended for a general (non-Chinese-speaking) audience. For example, Isabel Hilton spoke on ‘Translating the Environment’ and her website China Dialogue; Fuschia Dunlop talked about translating Chinese food and brought us samples to taste; Brian Holton ran a workshop on translating Chinese classical poetry; and, with Rosalind Harvey, I ran a Bookclub Fest (sort of ‘speed-dating’ for Bookclub enthusiasts: four translated short stories to discuss in two hours).
Working with young people I use a clip from the Chinese cartoon film, Monkey, to work with young people on translating and creative story-telling/writing. I tell them that by the end of the session (about an hour), they will be able to translate the dialogue. I then tell them that translators have to do a bit of inspired guessing too. As we watch the clip, I also get them to repeat a few of the more entertaining bits of the dialogue. I've done this at various venues, including Nottingham Night of Festivals 2012, the Islington Chinese Association 2012, (part of the Islington Word Festival,) and in secondary schools - in places where the students know some Chinese, and where they know none at all.
Podcasts I have collaborated with Steve Wasserman to provide podcasts for his Short Story Bookclub and Read Me Something You Love. He podcast a Han Dong short story, The Deer Park and I read some of Han Dong’s poems for Read Me Something You Love.
I co-edited a series of five short stories translated from Chinese for the Guardian Online book pages, and wrote an accompanying article, in the week leading up to the London Bookfair, April 2012.
Mentoring new translators I have mentored a new translator, Anna Holmwood for the first British Centre for Literary Translation mentorship scheme, 2010, and will continue to mentor translators under the same scheme in 2012.
China Inside Out day at English PEN, March 2012. I helped plan this event and was instrumental in bringing over from China writers, a translator and a director for a fascinating day-long programme of debates, readings, film screenings and music.
I also run the "China Fiction Bookclub", an informal group of Chinese speakers who meet every couple of months in London to discuss and practise translating a variety of short stories or novel excerpts. All welcome. Contact me for details. Also on Twitter: @cfbcuk
What's that got to do with anything? Coherence and the translation of relative clauses from Chinese. In Journal of Specialised Translation (www.jostrans.org) issue 13, January 2010
Foreign Culture, Foreign Style: a Translator’s View of Modern Chinese Fiction. In Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 14(1): 13-31. (2006).
Beyond Paper Dictionaries: Mining the Web for Technical Terminology in Chinese (available from http://isg.urv.es/cttt/cttt/research.html, or on request from NH).
Visiting Fellow at the Research Centre for Translation at Chinese University Hong Kong, April 2006. Visiting Scholar, Fudan University and Beijing University, China, 2008.