Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

Children's fiction in China

By Helen Wang, published

At last week’s China Fiction Book Club, in London, Nicky brought along two Chinese children’s books that she’s been reviewing: Wu Meizhen’s The Unusual Princess (translated by Petula Parris Huang) and Shen Shixi’s Jackal and Wolf (translated by me).

There are four children’s authors coming to the London Book Fair: Shen Shixi and Wu Meizhen; and Zheng Yuanjie and Yang Hongying. As no biographical information for any of them is provided on the LBF programme, I’ve created author entries for them on Paper Republic.

I also tried to find out more about children’s literature in China. The most authoritative reference I could find was Mary Ann Farquhar’s Children’s Literature in China: from Lu Xun to Mao Zedong (1999). But surely there must be something more recent that covers the 1970s to the 21st century? I’ll put the contents of Farquhar’s book on Resources for Translators, in the hope that others can offer improvements.

At the same time, it is cheering to see that there are many more books for children than there used to be. A few examples:
Features and reviews Chinese and Chinese American literature for children.
There is an impressive list of titles (for sale) on this website: picture books for younger children and novels for older readers and young adults. There’s a variety of English language, Chinese language and bilingual Chinese/English.
Has a special section ‘China and Chinese — Children's fiction’ (for sale)


# 1.   

IBBY's journal Bookbird published a special edition on children's literature from China in 1996. You'll find the whole issue here, in PDF format.

It's a few years old, but still worth reading.

Anna Chen, March 28, 2012, 5:24a.m.

# 2.   

If you knew Swedish, I'd recommend you to read my blog, since I do try to write about childrens' literature from China and Taiwan from time to time. I guess at least you could look at the pictures ...

Anna Chen, March 28, 2012, 5:28a.m.

# 3.   

Sorry for posting so many comments, but the year of IBBY's China issue should of course be 2006...

Anna Chen, March 28, 2012, 5:32a.m.

# 4.   

Thanks, Anna, I'm so pleased you posted the link to Bookbird (just what I was looking for), and your blog is beautiful - am I right in thinking the blog title translates as 'Book Mountain' - Chinese literature (and sometimes literature of other Asian countries too)?

Helen Wang, March 28, 2012, 9:21a.m.


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