David Haysom

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Dave Haysom is a literary translator and editor who has been living in Beijing since 2007. He first started publishing translations online at spittingdog.net in 2012. In 2014 he became joint managing editor of Pathlight, a quarterly journal of Chinese literature in translation, and in 2015 he helped launch “Read Paper Republic”, a year-long initiative to publish one translation online every week. He has also written articles and essays on contemporary Chinese literature for publications such as Words Without Borders and China Dialogue.


Read Now: On Paper Republic

Four Poems by 玉珍 Yu Zhen by Yu Zhen August 29, 2022
Split Spring by Lin Bai April 30, 2020
The Floor of Pipes by Cao Kou April 28, 2016
Disappointing Returns by Yan Geling November 19, 2015
"Autumn Night" & "A Splendid Tale" by Lu Xun tr. David Haysom and Karmia Olutade October 15, 2015
The Death of Zernik by Zhu Yue July 23, 2015

Read Now: Around the Web

Beyond Your World by Ye Mi Spitting Dog
There Will Be Bread by Miao Wei People's Literature Publishing House
Hermits and butterflies: the resurgence of nature writing in China ChinaDialogue
A Faun's Afternoon by Chi Ta-wei Words Without Borders

Book Publications

Cherries on a Pomegranate Tree cover

Cherries on a Pomegranate Tree

Li Er

February 27, 2023

Original Works

Essay (2)

All Translations

Poem (7)

Short story (11)

Novella (2)

Novel (2)

Essay (2)

Excerpt (2)

The Paper Republic database exists for reference purposes only. We are not the publisher of these works, are not responsible for their contents, and cannot provide digital or paper copies.


单向空间 OWSpace Bookstores Struggling to Survive

By David Haysom, February 25, '20

The One-Way bookstores have been a home for literature for the last fifteen years, providing space on their shelves for the kind of books that are hard to find anywhere else, as well as hosting literary talks and events with local and international authors. Now, with the impact of COVID-19 bringing their business to a standstill, they are in need of donations just to be able to keep paying rent.

In this Wechat post they explain that they have only been able to keep one of their four stores open. That one store, in a Beijing shopping mall that now has a tenth of its usual customers, has been selling no more than a handful of books a day. Restrictions on delivery services have also taken a huge chunk out of their online sales.

OWSpace are the publishers of One-Way Street Magazine (单读): an outstanding literary journal, a rare independent voice in contemporary Chinese media, and our collaborators for the "Read Paper Republic: Dispatches" series of creative non-fiction pieces. Last year, a profile in Neocha described the publication as "a journal that thinks books and ideas are worth arguing about [...] a platform for opinions, articles of faith, and moments of doubt—in short, a public conversation about cultural life."

To support OWSpace and One-Way Street Magazine – and everything they do for the literary scene in China – you can make a donation here.

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2019 Publications in Chinese

By David Haysom, December 21, '19

As the year comes to a close, we’ve asked authors, translators, editors, and other friends of Paper Republic to recommend notable books published in Chinese in 2019 – translations into Chinese as well as original works. The resultant list gives an insight into the titles that have made an impression this year – and perhaps offers a preview of some of the books we can hope to see available in English soon!


Paper Republic Charity Launch – Update!

By David Haysom, November 1, '19

On Friday November 29th we’re going to be celebrating our new status as a charity with a party at the Coach and Horses (29 Greek Street, London, W1D 5DH). In addition to drinks, book talk, and a raffle, we can now confirm that Eric Abrahamsen, founder and trustee of Paper Republic, will be making a rare UK appearance! Come along to find out more about what we’ve been up to and what we have planned, and learn about the most exciting developments happening in Chinese Literature today.

Sign up now on Eventbrite to join the party.

If you can’t make it, you can still make a contribution through Paypal here (even if you don’t have a Paypal account). Everything you donate will go directly towards supporting the work we do:

  • bringing the best works of Chinese literature into English
  • supporting emerging translators
  • maintaining the internet’s best resource for Chinese literature

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Paper Republic Charity Launch

By David Haysom, October 10, '19

As you may have heard, Paper Republic is now registered in the UK as a charity, and we think that’s something to celebrate!

If you’re if in the UK, we’d love for you to join us at 6.30pm on Friday November 29th at the Coach and Horses (29 Greek Street, London, W1D 5DH) to spend an evening with translators, authors, publishers, readers, and other friends of Paper Republic.

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Yu Yoyo – My Tenantless Body – UK Tour

By David Haysom, July 3, '19

My Tenantless Body (我空出来的身体), a bilingual edition of 余幼幼 Yu Yoyo’s poetry, is available now from the Poetry Translation Centre, and this month Yu is touring the UK together with translators A.K. Blakemore and Dave Haysom:

Wednesday 3 July: Coalesce at Rich Mix, London
Thursday 4 July: Young Voices in Contemporary Chinese Poetry, Centre for New and International Writing, University of Liverpool
Sunday 7 July: Yu Yoyo and A.K. Blakemore at Ledbury Poetry Festival
Tuesday 9 July: Poetry Translation Centre Workshop on Xiao An, London
Thursday 11 July: Parallel Annotations, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh
Friday 12 July: Contemporary Chinese Poetry, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester
Saturday 13 July: Poetry Translation Centre Workshop in Manchester
Monday 15 July: New in Translation: Poetry and Fiction in China at the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing

More details at the Poetry Translation Centre website

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The Wandering Earth: A Reading Round-Up

By David Haysom, February 15, '19


Since its release on the first day of the Lunar New Year, The Wandering Earth (流浪地球) – 郭帆 Frant Guo’s adapatation of the Liu Cixin novella (translated into English by Holger Nahm) – has been setting box-office records, upending expectations of what a Spring Festival blockbuster can be, and apparently even inspiring a Durex ad:

Here’s a round-up of some of the responses.

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3rd EU-China Literary Festival: Guangzhou and Shenzhen

By David Haysom, November 18, '18

For anyone in Guangzhou or Shenzhen over the coming week, don't miss the 3rd EU-China International Literary Festival! We have leading European authors from Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Poland, Sweden, and the UK, plus 40 great Chinese writers. An array of wonderful discussions lined up in a week jam-packed with literary events. Check out the full programme here: http://eu-china.literaryfestival.eu

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Read Paper Republic: China Dispatches

By David Haysom, October 1, '18


We are delighted to announce a new series from Read Paper Republic: China Dispatches. Over the next month we will be publishing a selection of non-fiction pieces chosen from OWMagazine (单读). This will be a three-way collaboration between Paper Republic, OWMagazine, and the LARB China Channel. Each of the stories will be appearing first on the China Channel, then published here on Paper Republic one week later. We’re very excited about our initial run, which includes some of our favourite writers as well as some new voices, and we’re sure you’re going to enjoy these dispatches from different corners of China.

The first installment – “Three Sketches of Peter Hessler” by Wu Qi, translated by Luisetta Mudie – is available to read on the China Channel now!

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2017: Best Books in Chinese

By David Haysom, December 30, '17

Which new works of sci-fi were worth reading this year? Whose new novel forged a new way of representing dialect in fiction? Why are Chinese authors reading the critic James Wood? What did the daily life of a Communist guerrilla in 1980s Malaysia look like? Find out in our list of new books released in Chinese in 2017, as recommended by Paper Republic and friends!

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2017: Best Books in Chinese

By David Haysom, December 30, '17

Which works of sci fi were worth reading this year? Whose fiction has forged a new way of representing dialect in literature? Why are Chinese authors reading the critic James Wood? And what was life like for Communist guerrillas in the jungles of 1980s Malaysia? Find out in our list of the best books published in Chinese in 2017, as chosen by Paper Republic and friends!


Read Paper Republic: Bare Branches

By David Haysom, November 6, '17

11.11: November 11th, originally a day for singletons in China to either bemoan or celebrate their unattached status, but increasingly an excuse for unbridled consumerism under the auspices of the various online shopping behemoths. At Paper Republic we’re going to be stripping back the commercial self-indulgence and marking the occasion with a new run of four short stories about love, longing, and loneliness. We’re very happy to have Michelle Deeter as our managing editor for the series, which is entitled “Bare Branches” (a literal translation of the Chinese name for the occasion, 光棍节); starting this week, you can look forward to seeing a new story appearing on the site every Thursday for the next month!

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