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

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Mysterious Frontiers of Can Xue


Xiaohua [Can Xue], who is sixty-four, now lives with her husband in Beijing and writes every day. She has published dozens of short stories and novellas, several novels, and books of commentary on Kafka, Borges, Calvino, Dante, Shakespeare, and Goethe. So far, only eight of her books have been translated into English. Though written, or at least translated, using concrete, often simple language, they rarely rely on conventional storytelling or character studies.


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