“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

Women in translation – for China it's 20% (in the USA)

By Helen Wang, October 6, '15

Chad W Post and two interns have been adding the author's gender to his database of translated fiction published for the first time in the US between 2008 and 2014. Here's the weblink to Chad's report.

Total figures: 2471 fiction translations, of which 657 were written by women, and 39 by both men and women. Percentage of female authors: 26.6%.
For poetry collections, it’s 169/571 collections by women (29.6%).

For China it's 76 male authors, 21 female authors (20%)

1 comment

One of Jack Livings' interesting techniques (in his stories set in contemporary China)

By Helen Wang, July 31, '15

"One of Livings’ interesting techniques is switching point of view at multiple junctures within his stories, often just for a sentence or two, so that the reader slips out of a protagonist’s thoughts for an instant and sees him or her from the outside, as others might. The habit is at first disorienting, but, slowly, the disorientation gains a strength. By the end of the collection, it feels like an artistic credo of sorts: a belief in seeing things from all angles." -- Review by Jonathan Lee in The Guardian, 16 July 2015

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Chinese Arts and Letters, vol. 1, no. 2 is out!

By Helen Wang, October 18, '14

Please address inquiries or submissions to the editors at chineseartsletters@gmail.com or chineseartsletters@163.com (The deadline for inquiries for issue No. 3 is December 31, 2014; the deadline for submissions is January 31, 2015.)

CAL, vol. 1, no. 2 - Contents - see below

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Public Talk, and Translation Masterclass With Author Yan Ge 颜歌 and Translator Nicky Harman

By Helen Wang, September 8, '14

Copied from Writing Chinese website:
Saturday November 1st, 2014. Public talk @11am – 1pm. Translation masterclass@ 2pm – 5pm. Venue to be announced (University of Leeds)

For our morning event, which is open to the general public (no registration required), author Yan Ge and her translator Nicky Harman will be talking about their work together. Yan Ge’s novella White Horse, translated by Nicky, will be released in October by Hope Road Publishing. And for a taster of more of Yan Ge’s work and why Nicky recommends it so highly, have a look at this recent article in Words Without Borders.

Our afternoon event is a literary translation masterclass, led by the author and her translator, and is open to anyone interested in the translation of contemporary Chinese fiction into English.

The masterclass is free but registration is required. If you’d like to attend, please email us at writingchinese@leeds.ac.uk. We will then email all attendees in advance with the text that we’ll be translating on the day.

We’re also pleased to announce that the masterclass will be followed by the launch of the Bai Meigui Literary Translation Competition. More details to follow soon!

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The Best Translated Chinese Books (weekend challenge by @cfbcuk)

By Helen Wang, April 1, '13

At the end of last week on twitter this question was posed: why don't people complain about poor quality Chinese>English translations? Good manners prevailed (no one was named and shamed), and as a critical session was not forthcoming, @cfbcuk held an ad-hoc Weekend Challenge to turn the question around and try to identify the 10 best translated Chinese books. For those who aren’t on twitter, but who might be interested, we’ll post the results below. The challenge was open to all, and while some eminent people participated (thank you!) we were also happy to include translated titles that people have enjoyed reading (thank you too!). In the end we received more than 10 titles. Here they are, in no particular order, except for The Story of the Stone, which was the clear favourite.

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Famous Chinese writers born in the Year of the Snake...

By Helen Wang, February 9, '13

Happy New Year from the China Fiction Book Club (especially if you were born in the year of the snake, the most unloved/ feared/ despised of the 12 animals). Here's what we posted on twitter (@cfbcuk) earlier...

金蛇出洞!Hoping that the Year of the Snake ("little dragon") will be a good year! Some very famous Chinese writers were born in the Year of the Snake: Qu Yuan 屈原; Lu You 陆游; Wu Jingzi 吴敬梓; Lu Xun 鲁讯, Mao Zedong 毛泽东.
[Source: http://www.shengxiao5.cn/shengxiao/6/shengxiao500.htm …]

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More Chinese books in London! Arthur Probsthain’s Bookshop

By Helen Wang, February 9, '13

My surprise last week at the Chinese New Year display and stock of Chinese fiction at Watermark Books in King's Cross Station was because most bookshops in London stock very few Chinese books (and then mostly on the X,Y,Z shelf). What's more, the staff usually know next-to-nothing about the Chinese fiction they're selling (Mo Yan? Who?). The exception is Arthur Probsthain Bookshop (known to locals as Probsthain’s) which always has a range of Chinese fiction on display and for sale, not just at Chinese New Year, and has knowledgeable staff.

Arthur Probsthain Bookshop specialises in Asian, Middle Eastern and African books, and is located at 41 Great Russell Street, opposite the British Museum. The business was founded in 1902 on Bury Place (round the corner) and has been at its current location since 1903. It is still a family-run business. Recently refurbished, there is now a bookshop and gallery at street level, and a very nice café called Tea and Tattle downstairs. There’s also a branch of Probsthain’s at the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), a short walk away. Michael Sheringham, the great-nephew of Arthur Probsthain, has supplied details of the Chinese fiction currently on display for Chinese New Year.

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"Stories by Contemporary Writers from Shanghai Series" published by Better Link Press

By Helen Wang, February 2, '13

Having heard that Watermark Books in Kings Cross station (London) was doing a promotion on China-related titles, I went to take a look this afternoon. They have a small table, piled with about a dozen non-fiction titles (eg by Yang Jiping, Frank Dikotter, Fuschia Dunlop, Henry Kissinger, Julia Lovell, Martin Jacques), a dozen fiction titles and a couple of books for children. If anyone’s interested, I’ve put some photos on twitter @cfbcuk . By Chinese standards this is a tiny display, but for a non-specialist bookshop in the UK, and bear in mind that this is a small bookshop located in a railway station, it’s quite impressive. This is the first Watermark Books in the UK; there are other Watermark Books in other countries, also located in station/airport locations.

The fiction and children’s books on the table were all produced by Better Link Press, Shanghai Press & Publishing Development Company 上海新闻出版发展公司. There were also some glossy posters behind the till desk, so I assume that the publisher is involved in the promotion, or at least is the source of the fiction books, children’s books, and the decorations. They had a couple of other China-related titles on their regular shelves : the Penguin Classics edition of The Analects, and The Flowers of War, by Geling Yan, translated by Nicky Harman. When I pointed these out, they added them to the table display.

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