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

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

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

By Helen Wang, published

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.

Later, I tried to find an English language website for the publisher, but gave up after a while. However, I noticed that the publisher’s titles are listed on amazon and other purchasing websites, also on goodreads.com and other book sites, so these titles are out there, but were not previously listed on the paper-republic website. I’ll list the titles below, with amazon links for convenience. Most of them are in the “Stories by Contemporary Writers from Shanghai Series” – each volume has the same intro, which says this is initially a series of 12, with aspirations for more.

Some details about the publisher and this series are given with the publication details at the front of the books. The Managing Directors are Wang Youbu and Xu Naiqing. The Editorial Director is Wu Ying. The Series Editor is Wang Jiren. The names of the translator(s) and editor(s) are given for each book. The editors working on this series are Daniel Clutton, Ninan Train Choa, Ye Jiasheng, Mina Tenison, David Specchio, Parker Barnes and Greg Tantala.

Here is a list of the fiction titles that I saw on the table.

The Little Restaurant, by Wang Anyi, tr. Yawtsong Lee (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

Folk Song, by Li Xiao, tr. Wu Xiaozhen and Qiu Maoru (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

The Messenger’s Letter, by Sun Ganlu, tr. Daniel Clutton, Gina Wang and He Jing (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

The Elephant, by Chen Cun, tr. Yawtsong Lee (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

A Pair of Jade Frogs, by Ye Xin, tr. Yawtsong Lee (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

Vicissitudes of Life, by Wang Xiaoying, tr. Qiu Maoru (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

When a Baby is Born, by Cheng Naishan, tr. Benjamin Chang (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

Forty Roses, by Sun Yong, tr. Yang Yunqin and Yang Shuhui (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

His One and Only, by Wang Xiaoyu, tr. Yang Shuhui and Yang Yunqiu (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

Ah, Blue Bird, by Lu Xing’er, tr. Wu Yanting (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

Dissipation, by Tang Ying, tr. Qiu Maoru (Better Link Press, 2010). Details here

Two Novellas: How Long is Forever, by Tie Ning, tr. Qiu Maoru and Wu Yanting (Readers Digest/Shanghai Press & Publishing Development Company). Details here

Comments

# 1.   

Thanks for these notes! Very interesting that the display appears to be almost entirely publisher-driven. I saw that series when I was talking with the Shanghai Writers Association earlier this year, but they didn't mention (of course) that they were doing any concerted foreign publicity. Worth looking into further...

 Eric Abrahamsen, February 2, 2013, 9:47p.m.

# 2.   

great work, Helen. Looking forward to going there and talking to them!

Nicky Harman, February 3, 2013, 4:37a.m.

# 3.   

I have a few books from the Better Link Press, one children's series on the three official minor holidays and a few from a series of translations of classic literature. It's too bad they don't have a website, I've only ever been able to find them by chance in bargain bookstores around Shanghai.

Micah S, June 12, 2013, 11:24a.m.

# 4.   

The Little Restaurant, by Wang Anyi, tr. Yawtsong Lee definitely worth reading. I really like Lee's translation

Nicky Harman, June 13, 2013, 5:27a.m.

# 5.   

I have been translating (nine books so far) for the Better Link Press since 2011. I find them quite excellent to deal with. I have just translated two books in the Shanghai Writers' series for them, Wang Zhousheng's Memory and Oblivion and two novellas by Ma Yuan, No Sail on the Western Sea and The Master to be published in New York in September and March. The distributors for the Better Link Press are Tuttle who seem to concentrate on the American market. In the UK, Amazon and The Book Depository stock their books online but I've never seen any in a bookshop, more's the pity.

Tony Blishen , July 26, 2014, 8:36a.m.

# 6.   

Thanks for the update, and congratulations! Are you based in the UK?

Helen Wang, July 28, 2014, 2:27a.m.

# 7.   

Thanks for the update, and congratulations! Are you based in the UK?

Helen Wang, July 28, 2014, 2:27a.m.

# 8.   

There are some more recent titles from Better Link Press here: http://search.simonandschuster.com/books/Category-Fiction/Imprint-Shanghai-Press-Better-Link-Press/_/N-g1hZ1z11jxv

Helen Wang, July 28, 2014, 2:41a.m.

# 9.   

I wonder what is the relationship between Better Link Press and Shanghai Press. Information is scarce concerning the former.

grace, August 7, 2015, 5:47a.m.

# 10.   

I wonder what is the relationship between Better Link Press and Shanghai Press. Information is scarce concerning the former.

grace, August 7, 2015, 5:47a.m.

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