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

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

A Yi in Granta: Excerpt and Translators Note

http://www.granta.com/New-Writing/Barrenland

As I read through this story for the first time, and reached the point where A Yi compares the relationship between urban and rural Chinese to that between blacks and whites in America, I felt that twinge of quiet mortification you get whenever someone outside your culture wanders in and starts cheerfully man-handling its most sensitive parts. There are certain social issues that exist more concretely as a set of rules for how to talk about them than they do as issues themselves, and when someone who doesn’t know the rules goes barging in, generally all you can do is wince a little and hope it will be over soon.

attached to: A Yi

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