“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Helen Wang

worldcat / academia

contact

Helen Wang is a London-based contributor to Paper Republic and co-tweets with translator Nicky Harman on @cfbcuk (China Fiction Book Club UK). She is one of the four editors of Read Paper Republic - working with Nicky Harman, Dave Haysom and Eric Abrahamsen. In September 2016, she started a new project Chinese books for young readers, with Anna Gustafsson Chen and Minjie Chen. She won the 2017 Marsh Award for Literature in Translation for her translation of Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan.

Translations

Cao Wenxuan's Bronze and Sunflower (children's novel), Walker Books, April 2015. - Cao Wenxuan won the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award; Helen Wang won the 2017 Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation 曹文轩 《青铜葵花》

Cao Wenxuan's Crows (essay), published in Pathlight Summer 2015, and as Read Paper Republic #15.
曹文轩 《乌鸦》

Cao Wenxuan's A Very Special Pigeon (short story), published by Writing Chinese, 10 Sept 2015; also published as a bilingual book 《凤鸽儿/A Very Special Pigeon, Renmin wenxue chubanshe/Tiantian chubanshe, 2016)
曹文轩 《一个叫凤的鸽子》

Cao Wenxuan's Huiwa takes a stand (short story/novella), Pathlight; also published as a bilingual book 《灰娃的高地/Huiwa’s Stand, Renmin wenxue chubanshe/Tiantian chubanshe, 2016)
曹文轩 《灰娃的高地》

Cao Wenxuan's The Cassia Tree (short story/novella), published as a bilingual book 《火桂花/The Cassia Tree, Renmin wenxue chubanshe/Tiantian chubanshe, 2016)
曹文轩 《火桂花》

Cao Wenxuan's Firebrand (excerpt), published as a bilingual book 《白马雪儿/Looking for Snowy, Renmin wenxue chubanshe/Tiantian chubanshe, 2016)
曹文轩 《火印》

Du Ma’s Into Parting Arms, in Henry Y. H. Zhao and John Cayley (eds), Under-sky Underground, Wellsweep Press, London, 1994, 219-39.
杜麻李冯《投入向分裂的怀抱》

Fan Xiaoqing's Ying Yang Alley (short story), in Chinese Arts and Letters vol.2, no.2 (Oct 2015), pp.28-33, and as Read Paper Republic 44
范小青 《鹰扬巷》

Fan Xiaoqing - interviewed by the editor Yang Haocheng, in Chinese Arts and Letters vol.2, no.2 (Oct 2015), pp. 64-78.
杨昊成 范小青 《写作于我,更多地是享受过程中的创造、宁静和自由 —— 范小青访谈录》

Han Dong's Brand New World (short story), co-translated with Nicky Harman, published on 25 March 2012.
韩东 《崭新世》

C.F. Hu's Ever After - this is from chapter 5 of Floating (a novel in stories) prepared as a sample translation for Books from Taiwan (contact Gray Tan at The Grayhawk Agency for details)
胡晴舫 《懸浮》

Li Jingrui's Missing (short story), published on Read Paper Republic, week 8, 6 August 2015. Subsequently published on the WritingChinese website, November 2015.
李静睿 《失踪》

Lin Man-chiu's The Ventriloquist's Daughter (YA novel), Balestier Press, 2017. 林满秋 《腹語師的女兒》

Lu Min's Xie Bomao R.I.P. (short story), in Chinese Arts and Letters, vol. 1, no. 2, Autumn 2014, pp.128-143. Reprinted on Read Paper Republic, no.20, 29 October 2015.
鲁敏 《谢伯茂之死》

Lu Min - chapter 1 of Dinner For Six (novel) prepared as a sample translation (contact Gray Tan at The Grayhawk Agency for details)
魯敏 《六人晚餐》

Lu Min's A Second Pregnancy, 1980 (essay), published on Read Paper Republic, week 21, 3 November 2015.
鲁敏 1980年的第二胎》

Lü Yao’s The Steamers Came Alive Again That Night (essay), in Pathlight, Winter 2015.
绿妖《轮船复活之夜》

Ma Yuan’s Mistakes (short story), in Henry Y. H. Zhao (ed.), The Lost Boat: Avant-garde Fiction from China, Wellsweep Press, London, 1993, pp. 29-42.
马原 《错误》

Shen Shixi’s Jackal and Wolf (children’s novel), Egmont, London, 2012. The first chapter is available as a preview ('click to look inside').
沈石溪著 《红豺》

Shi Kang's Sunshine in Winter (short story), translated by Helen Wang, Michelle Deeter, Killiana Liu and Juliet Vine, published in March 2012.
石康 《冬日之光》

Tsen Peng-Wei's The Nowhere School (sample of children's book), published in Books from Taiwan, June 2015.
岑澎維 《找不到國小三部曲》

Xu Zechen's Galloping Horses (short story), published on the Guardian website, 12 April 2012. Subsequently published with audio version on the WritingChinese website
徐则臣 《奔马》

Ye Mi's Velvet, in Pathlight Autumn 2015, pp. 91-102.
叶弥 《天鹅绒》

Ye Zhaoyan's Police Python 357 (short story) in Chinese Arts and Letters, vol. 2, no. 1 (2015), pp. 6-17.
叶兆言 《左轮三五七》

Yu Hua’s One Kind of Reality (short story), in Henry Y. H. Zhao (ed.), The Lost Boat: Avant-garde Fiction from China, Wellsweep Press, London, 1993, pp. 145-84.
余华 《现实一种》

Yu Hua's How My Books Have Roamed the World (essay), Specimen - The Babel Review of Translations, online publication 21 Sept 2017.
余华 《我的书游荡世界的经历》

Zhang Chengzhi’s The Way of Heaven – Beginning of Autumn (essay), in Henry Y. H. Zhao and John Cayley (eds), Under-sky Underground, Wellsweep Press, London, 1994, pp. 145-48.
张承志 《天道立秋》

Zhang Langlang's The Legend of the Sun Brigade (essay), in Henry Y. H. Zhao and John Cayley (eds), Under-sky Underground, Wellsweep Press, London, 1994, pp. 87-95.
张朗朗 《太阳纵队》

Zhang Xinxin's IT84 (novella) (contact Marysia Juszczakiewicz at Peony Literary Agency for details) [published in Chinese in Shanghai Wenxue 2015.12]
张辛欣 IT84

Zhang Xinxin's Dragonworld (short story), published on the Guardian website, 12 April 2012, and in the Read Paper Republic Afterlives series, 3 Nov 2016 (read here, with introduction by the author)
张辛欣 《龙的食谱》

Zhang Xinxin's Pai Hua Zi and the Clever Girl (graphic novel), published by Zhang Xinxin on ibooks, August 2012, Part 1 (includes free 20-page preview) and Part 2
张辛欣 《拍花子和俏女孩》

Zhang Xinxin's Self-portrait (essay) - available online and as Read Paper Republic 45
张辛欣 《自画像》

Zhang Xinxin's Mad About Orchids (short story) - available online
张辛欣 《疯狂的君子兰》

Zhang Xinxin's The Adventures of a Graphic Novelist - available online
张辛欣 《小人书画家历险记》

Zhang Xinxin's After the Inferno, in Words Without Borders, 1 Nov 2017 - available online
张辛欣 - excerpt from her book 《我 Me

Zhou Jianing's Let Us Talk About Something Else, in Pathlight, Summer 2014, 34-43.
周嘉宁 《让我们聊些别的》

PICTURE BOOKS (published by Candied Plums)
CeeCee, by Mao XIAO and Chunmiao LI (2016)
萧袤: 《西西》

Express Delivery from Dinosaur World, by Yanan DONG (2016)
董亚楠: 《恐龙快递》

The Frog and the Boy, by Mao XIAO, Wei CHEN, Xiaomin HUANG (2016)
萧袤: 《青蛙与男孩》

An’s Seed, by Zaozao WANG and Li HUANG (2016)
王早早: 《安的种子》

Flame, by Zhucheng LIANG (2016)
朱成梁: 《火焰》

Little Rabbit’s Questions, by Da You (2016)
大友《小兔的问题》

PICTURE BOOKS (Balestier Press)
Tan Hou and the Double Sixth Festival, by CAI Gao et al (2016)
作者: 向华 / 邬朝祝 整理 / 绘者 蔡皋 : 《晒龙袍的六月六》

Other publications

The Music of Ink at the British Museum (edited volume featuring Yang Lian, Romesh Gunesekera, Denis Brown, Qu Lei Lei, Rohan de Saram, Zeng Laide and Wang Tao), Saffron Books, London, 2012. Info here

Is Gao Xingjian’s play Chezhan merely a blind worship of modern Western plays as the critic He Wen claims? How far can Chezhan be compared with Beckett’s Waiting for Godot?, Bulletin of the British Association for Chinese Studies, 1986, pp. 83-89. Available here

Interviews and short pieces
Interview with Helen Wang, translator of Cao Wenxuan (April 2016). in English and in Chinese
On "Bronze and Sunflower" in LARB China Blog, 13 April 2016
Translating Children's Books - a short piece for Books from Taiwan (2015)
Learning about Chinese children's books - interview with Zoe Toft for Playing by the Book, 27 April 2015
Bronze and Sunflower - Ann Morgan's Book of the Month, April 2015
Guest Interview: Helen Wang on Children's Book Translation, interviewed by Avery Fischer Udagawa for Cynthia Leitich Smith's "Cynsations" blog, 26 May 2015
Review by Nicky Harman of Bronze and Sunflower in Tribune 6 March 2015

 

Read Paper Republic

Translations

Novellas (1)

Children's books (3)

Excerpts (4)

Essays (6)

Short stories (16)

Posts

The Scramble for China

By Helen Wang, March 17, '12

The Scramble for China: Foreign Devils in the Qing Empire, 1832-1914 by Robert Bickers
as reviewed this week by P.D. Smith in The Guardian
as discussed (in an interview with the author) by Jeffrey Wasserstrom in The China Beat
and as reviewed by Chris Patten in The Financial Times

Robert Bickers' books are always really well researched and a pleasure to read ... as are the websites he develops - Visualising China is a stunning collection of photographs of China, 1850-1950.

By the way, I know that this is not fiction, but he's such a good writer and he knows his stuff. And the historical photos are a brilliant resource for translators - for example, if you ever need to know what Bubbling Well Road looked like in 1919 you can find it on the website and on the blog.

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Hot New Releases in Chinese Literature (Spring 2012)

By Helen Wang, March 15, '12

Here they are, as recommended by amazon.com…

  1. Guide to Capturing a Plum Blossom by Sung Po-jen, Red Pine, Lo-Ch’ing
  2. The Changing Room: Selected Poetry of Zhai Yongming by Yongming Zhai, Andrea Lingenfelter (Jintian series)
  3. Skeleton Women by Mingmei Yip
  4. June Fourth Elegies: Poems by Liu Xiaobo, Jeffrey Yang
  5. The White Pony: An Anthology of Chinese Poetry by Robert Payne
  6. Bright Moon, White Clouds: Selected Poems of Li Po by Li Po, J.P. Seaton (Shambhala Library)
  7. The Monkey King’s Amazing Adventures: A Journey to the West in Search of Enlightenment by Timothy Richard, Wu Cheng’en, Daniel Kane
  8. A Phone Call from Dalian: Selected Poems of Han Dong by Dong Han, Nicky Harman (Jintian Series)

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Fact or Fiction?

By Helen Wang, March 15, '12

Paul Mason is not the only senior person at the BBC who is writing fiction. Jill McGivering, senior foreign news correspondent, has been writing novels too: The Last Kestrel and Far From My Father's House.

In her review of Mason's Rare Earth Julia Lovell writes 'Reading the passages rich in masochistic sex, you easily imagine Mason joyfully kicking free of BBC fact-checkers...'

This reminded me of something I'd seen somewhere else...

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How to find out if something has been translated already?

By Helen Wang, March 14, '12

Ages ago, when I asked this question, Bruce recommended http://mclc.osu.edu/rc/bib.htm

MCLC stands for Modern Chinese Literature and Culture

This resource center contains, among other things, bibliographies of mostly English-language materials on modern and contemporary Chinese literature, film, art, music, and culture and is maintained by Kirk A. Denton at the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, The Ohio State University, in conjunction with the journal Modern Chinese Literature and Culture. Send comments and suggestions for entries to denton.2@osu.edu. The Center also publishes articles (see "Publications") and book reviews (see "Book Reviews"). Clicking the MCLC logo at the top of each page will return you to this page. Join the MCLC Discussion List (see "MCLC List" below). Donate money to support MCLC and the MCLC Resource Center. MCLC is also on Facebook and Twitter.

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Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square

By Helen Wang, March 14, '12

Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square: The Chinese Literary Diaspora and the Politics of Global Culture by Belinda Kong

Compelling us to think about how Chinese culture, identity, and politics are being defined in the diaspora, Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square candidly addresses issues of political exile, historical trauma, global capital, and state biopower…

Read more about this book… on http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/2176_reg.html

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Call for Chinese Playwrights

By Helen Wang, March 14, '12

National Theatre of Scotland & National Theatre of China -
First UK season of New Writing from contemporary Chinese playwrights in 2013

An international new writing project is being launched in both China and Scotland on 8th March 2012 with the aim of discovering six new Chinese writers to develop their work with the assistance of National Theatre of Scotland practitioners. Successful playwrights will have their work produced as part of Òran Mór’s A Play, a Pie and a Pint Chinese Season in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2013.

For more information and application forms

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Watch Your Language?

By Helen Wang, March 13, '12

From The International Herald Tribune:

Watch Your Language! (In China, They Really Do) by Mark McDonald

Scaling the wall. Buying soy sauce. Fifty cents. A mild collision. May 35. Mayor Lymph. River crab. - These words — mild, silly, inoffensive — are part of the subversive lexicon being used by Chinese bloggers to ridicule the government, poke fun at Communist Party leaders and circumvent the heavily censored Internet in China. A popular blog that tracks online political vocabulary, China Digital Times, calls them part of the “resistance discourse” on the mainland.

Read more...

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Working Titles: Chinese Novels About Work

By Helen Wang, March 13, '12

From The New Yorker:

Working Titles: What do the most industrious people on earth read for fun? by Leslie T. Chang

What do the Chinese read in their spare time? Novels about work. The seventh volume of “The Diary of Government Official Hou Weidong” was published in July, with an initial print run of two hundred thousand copies. Zhichang xiaoshuo, or workplace novels, have topped best-seller lists in recent years. “Du Lala’s Promotion Diary,” by a corporate executive writing under the pen name Li Ke, is the story of a young woman who rises from secretary to human-resources manager at a Fortune 500 company. The books have sold five million copies...

Read more...

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