“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

Remapping Chinese American literature: the case of Yan Geling

By Helen Wang, September 18, '12

This is the title of Chapter 7 in Diasporic Representations: Reading Chinese American Women's Fiction by Pin-Chia Feng, published by LIT Verlag Münster, 2010.

Diasporic Representations examines the stratification of various diasporic subjectivities through a close reading of fiction by Chinese American women writers of different social and class backgrounds. Deploying a strategy of “attentive reading,” Feng engages intersecting issues of historicity, spatiality, and bodily imagination from diasporic and feminist perspectives to illuminate the dynamics of deterritorialization and reterritorialization in Chinese American novels in this transnational age.

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Gender Relations in Chinese Comrade Literature: Redefining Heterosexual and Homosexual Identity as Essentially the Same yet Radically Different

By Helen Wang, September 18, '12

By Rachel Leng

Abstract: Throughout the twentieth century, homosexuality has been and remains a highly sensitive and controversial topic in China where homosexual people were actively persecuted under Communist rule. It was not until the advent of the Internet in the mid-1990s that Comrade Literature (同志文学 tongzhi wenxue), an indigenous genre characterized by fictions of homosexuality, came into existence in China.

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Who cares about English? (panel discussion)

By Helen Wang, September 18, '12

Event sponsored by The British Council and the Oxford English Dictionary,
on Thursday 27 September, 18.30-20.30 at The Royal Society, 6 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG.

The event will consider issues such as:
Does ‘standard English’ exist in today’s globalised society?
Who regulates the language – lexicographers, the education system, the media – or the public?
Is the language being dumbed down? And does this matter?
Should we be worried about the state of English today?

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Comparing styles - who do you write like?

By Helen Wang, September 11, '12

Have you tried this? http://iwl.me/
Copy and paste something you've written or translated, then press the Analyse button, and it will suggest an author you write like. I don't know how this works (or how accurate it is), but it's quite good fun.

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Lin Yutang on passion - is qing the right word?

By Helen Wang, September 8, '12

Another Lin Yutang moment - this one relates to tragedy and tragic figures in Chinese literature

"It is passion that is the soul of life, the light in the stars, the lilt in music and song, the joy in flowers, the plumage in birds, the charm in woman, and the life in scholarship. It is as impossible to speak of a soul without passion as to speak of music without expression. It is that which gives us inward warmth and the rich vitality which enables us to face life cheerily.

Or perhaps I am wrong in choosing the word ‘passion’ when I speak of what the Chinese writers refer to as qing . Should I translate it by the word ‘sentiment’, which is gentler and suggests less of the tumultuous qualities of stormy passion?

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Lin Yutang, the peony and Mae West

By Helen Wang, September 7, '12

Having come across the name and words of Lin Yutang (1895-1976) several times this week, I pulled my old copy of The Importance of Living from the shelf, blew off the dust, and was delighted to find Appendix B: A Chinese Critical Vocabulary. It's written for the general reader, and includes 81 specific terms and many more in and amongst:
eg. 48. yan: voluptuous, georgeously beautiful, dazzlingly beautiful, passionate. eg. the peony, Mae West.
eg. 67. shou: thin, slender. This is a strangely beautiful word in the Chinese language. Slender rocks and bamboos are always painted together. It expresses non-sensuous beauty.

2 comments

Chinese Writers’ Rich Lists 2008-2011

By Helen Wang, September 1, '12

Data compiled from the entry 中国作家富豪榜 on www.baidu.com

Chinese Writers’ Rich List 2011
1. Guo Jingming 郭敬明 (2010 - no.1 // 2009 - no.2 // 2008 - no.1)
2. Nan Pai San Shu 南派三叔 (2010 – no.14)
3. Zheng Yuanjie 郑渊洁 (2010 – no.3 // 2009 – no.1 // 2008 – no.2)
4. Yang Hongying 杨红樱 (2010 – no.1 // 2009 – no.3 // 2008 – no.3)
5. Anni Baobei 安妮宝贝 (2008 – no.22)
6. Jiang Nan 江南
7. Dang Nian Ming Yue 当年明月 (2010 – no.4 // 2009 – no.4 // 2008 – no.15)
8. Lang Xianping 郎咸平 (2010 – no.6)
9. Han Han 韩寒 (2010 – no.8 // 2009 – no.8 // 2008 – no.18)
10. Cai Kangyong 蔡康永

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Chinese fiction – guides for reading groups and book clubs

By Helen Wang, August 30, '12

Thought I'd look around and see what kind of reading guides there are for reading groups and bookclubs who might be interested in Chinese fiction. There's a website called readinggroupguides which has a lot of China-related books (fiction, non-fiction, memoirs) and Harper Collins has a few China-related books in and amongst its Reading Guides. There are probably more, but this is all I could find.

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