Prix Émile Guimet de littérature asiatique 2020: Fang Fang's Funérailles Mortes (软埋)

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France's Prix Émile Guimet de littérature asiatique (Émile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature) has been awarded to Fang Fang (方方) for her novel, Soft Burial (软埋), translated by Brigitte Duzan as Funérailles molles.

PRC citizens may be a bit surprised --- when and if they hear the news --- since the novel was reportedly taken off retail bookshelves some time ago.

For the video of an interview with Duzan (in French) in which she discusses Funérailles molles, visit here and fast-forward to 33:00.

Fang Fang is also the author of the controversial Wuhan Diary: Dispatches from a Quarantined City (武汉日记), translated into English by Michael Berry.

Duzan hosts a weblog about Chinese short stories, as well as one highlighting Chinese cinema, and frequently leaves comments here on Paper Republic.


# 1.   

Fang Fang is now known for her diary, because it caused such a furore not long ago. Ruan mai is hardly known, and I doubt any Chinese citizen would even bat an eyelid if they ever happened to hear about that prize. Chinese literature is under dire conditions in China nowadays, we have to keep it alive and thriving on our shores.

Brigitte Duzan, January 24, 2021, 2:39p.m.

# 2.   

Dear Brigitte, Congratulations to you and the author for this well-deserved prize. I notified Tsering Dondrup, the author of one of the 5 novels competing for the Guimet prize, about the awarding of the prize to Fang Fang. He replied: "She is among my favourite Chinese writers. Ruan mai is really good; I have read it. It is banned now", with a little emoji expressing distress.

Françoise Robin, January 24, 2021, 5:27p.m.

# 3.   

Dear Françoise, all my thanks, and all the best to Tsering Dondrup ; you can tell him his novel has been praised on the night of the award ceremony by jury member Pascal Bruckner who said it was among his favourite works among the selection.

Brigitte Duzan, January 26, 2021, 11:09p.m.


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