Helen Wang

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Helen Wang is a London-based contributor to Paper Republic and co-tweets with translator Nicky Harman on @cfbcuk (China Fiction Book Club UK). She was one of the original editors of Read Paper Republic - working with Nicky Harman, Dave Haysom and Eric Abrahamsen. In September 2016, she started a new project Chinese books for young readers, with Anna Gustafsson Chen and Minjie Chen. She won the 2017 Marsh Award for Literature in Translation for her translation of Bronze and Sunflower by Cao Wenxuan. In 2017 she was awarded the Chen Bochui "Special Contribution" Award, for her translations and increasing visibility of Chinese children's books.

Translations

Cao Wenxuan's Bronze and Sunflower (children's novel), Walker Books, April 2015. - Cao Wenxuan won the 2016 Hans Christian Andersen Award; Helen Wang won the 2017 Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation 曹文轩 《青铜葵花》

Cao Wenxuan's Crows (essay), published in Pathlight Summer 2015, and as Read Paper Republic #15.
曹文轩 《乌鸦》

Cao Wenxuan's A Very Special Pigeon (short story), published by Writing Chinese, 10 Sept 2015; also published as a bilingual book 《凤鸽儿/A Very Special Pigeon, Renmin wenxue chubanshe/Tiantian chubanshe, 2016)
曹文轩 《一个叫凤的鸽子》

Cao Wenxuan's Huiwa takes a stand (short story/novella), Pathlight; also published as a bilingual book 《灰娃的高地/Huiwa’s Stand, Renmin wenxue chubanshe/Tiantian chubanshe, 2016)
曹文轩 《灰娃的高地》

Cao Wenxuan's The Cassia Tree (short story/novella), published as a bilingual book 《火桂花/The Cassia Tree, Renmin wenxue chubanshe/Tiantian chubanshe, 2016)
曹文轩 《火桂花》

Cao Wenxuan's Firebrand (excerpt), published as a bilingual book 《白马雪儿/Looking for Snowy, Renmin wenxue chubanshe/Tiantian chubanshe, 2016)
曹文轩 《火印》

Du Ma’s Into Parting Arms, in Henry Y. H. Zhao and John Cayley (eds), Under-sky Underground, Wellsweep Press, London, 1994, 219-39.
杜麻李冯《投入向分裂的怀抱》

Fan Xiaoqing's Ying Yang Alley (short story), in Chinese Arts and Letters vol.2, no.2 (Oct 2015), pp.28-33, and as Read Paper Republic 44
范小青 《鹰扬巷》

Fan Xiaoqing - interviewed by the editor Yang Haocheng, in Chinese Arts and Letters vol.2, no.2 (Oct 2015), pp. 64-78.
杨昊成 范小青 《写作于我,更多地是享受过程中的创造、宁静和自由 —— 范小青访谈录》

Han Dong's Brand New World (short story), co-translated with Nicky Harman, published on 25 March 2012.
韩东 《崭新世》

C.F. Hu's Ever After - this is from chapter 5 of Floating (a novel in stories) prepared as a sample translation for Books from Taiwan (contact Gray Tan at The Grayhawk Agency for details)
胡晴舫 《懸浮》

Li Jingrui's Missing (short story), published on Read Paper Republic, week 8, 6 August 2015. Subsequently published on the WritingChinese website, November 2015.
李静睿 《失踪》

Lin Man-chiu's The Ventriloquist's Daughter (YA novel), Balestier Press, 2017. 林满秋 《腹語師的女兒》

Lu Min's Xie Bomao R.I.P. (short story), in Chinese Arts and Letters, vol. 1, no. 2, Autumn 2014, pp.128-143. Reprinted on Read Paper Republic, no.20, 29 October 2015.
鲁敏 《谢伯茂之死》

Lu Min - chapter 1 of Dinner For Six (novel) prepared as a sample translation (contact Gray Tan at The Grayhawk Agency for details)
魯敏 《六人晚餐》

Lu Min's A Second Pregnancy, 1980 (essay), published on Read Paper Republic, week 21, 3 November 2015.
鲁敏 1980年的第二胎》

Lü Yao’s The Steamers Came Alive Again That Night (essay), in Pathlight, Winter 2015.
绿妖《轮船复活之夜》

Ma Yuan’s Mistakes (short story), in Henry Y. H. Zhao (ed.), The Lost Boat: Avant-garde Fiction from China, Wellsweep Press, London, 1993, pp. 29-42.
马原 《错误》

Shen Shixi’s Jackal and Wolf (children’s novel), Egmont, London, 2012. The first chapter is available as a preview ('click to look inside').
沈石溪著 《红豺》

Shi Kang's Sunshine in Winter (short story), translated by Helen Wang, Michelle Deeter, Killiana Liu and Juliet Vine, published in March 2012.
石康 《冬日之光》

Tsen Peng-Wei's The Nowhere School (sample of children's book), published in Books from Taiwan, June 2015.
岑澎維 《找不到國小三部曲》

Wang Anyi's Ah Fang's Lamp (short story), published in The Book of Shanghai, ed. by Dai Congrong and Dr Jin Li (Comma Press, 2020). Read online on Bookanista

Xu Zechen's Galloping Horses (short story), published on the Guardian website, 12 April 2012. Subsequently published with audio version on the WritingChinese website
徐则臣 《奔马》

Ye Mi's Velvet, in Pathlight Autumn 2015, pp. 91-102.
叶弥 《天鹅绒》

Ye Zhaoyan's Police Python 357 (short story) in Chinese Arts and Letters, vol. 2, no. 1 (2015), pp. 6-17.
叶兆言 《左轮三五七》

Yu Hua’s One Kind of Reality (short story), in Henry Y. H. Zhao (ed.), The Lost Boat: Avant-garde Fiction from China, Wellsweep Press, London, 1993, pp. 145-84.
余华 《现实一种》

Yu Hua's How My Books Have Roamed the World (essay), Specimen - The Babel Review of Translations, online publication 21 Sept 2017.
余华 《我的书游荡世界的经历》

Zhang Chengzhi’s The Way of Heaven – Beginning of Autumn (essay), in Henry Y. H. Zhao and John Cayley (eds), Under-sky Underground, Wellsweep Press, London, 1994, pp. 145-48.
张承志 《天道立秋》

Zhang Langlang's The Legend of the Sun Brigade (essay), in Henry Y. H. Zhao and John Cayley (eds), Under-sky Underground, Wellsweep Press, London, 1994, pp. 87-95.
张朗朗 《太阳纵队》

Zhang Xinxin's IT84
(novel) Originally published as a novella in Shanghai Wenxue 2015.12, it was rewritten as a novel, and published in 2018. Five chapters of the novel were translated into French by Brigitte Duzan and published in Jentayu 10 (summer 2019). I translated the same five chapters into English - available online
张辛欣 IT84

Zhang Xinxin's Dragonworld (short story), published on the Guardian website, 12 April 2012, and in the Read Paper Republic Afterlives series, 3 Nov 2016 (read here, with introduction by the author)
张辛欣 《龙的食谱》

Zhang Xinxin's Pai Hua Zi and the Clever Girl (graphic novel), published by Zhang Xinxin on ibooks, August 2012, Part 1 (includes free 20-page preview) and Part 2
张辛欣 《拍花子和俏女孩》

Zhang Xinxin's Self-portrait (essay) - available online and as Read Paper Republic 45
张辛欣 《自画像》

Zhang Xinxin's Mad About Orchids (short story) - available online
张辛欣 《疯狂的君子兰》

Zhang Xinxin's The Adventures of a Graphic Novelist - available online
张辛欣 《小人书画家历险记》

Zhang Xinxin's After the Inferno, in Words Without Borders, 1 Nov 2017 - available online
张辛欣 - excerpt from her book 《我 Me

Zhou Jianing's Let Us Talk About Something Else, in Pathlight, Summer 2014, 34-43.
周嘉宁 《让我们聊些别的》

Zhu Hui's Just You Wait, in Pathlight, 2017.
朱辉 《要你好看》

PICTURE BOOKS
CeeCee, by Mao XIAO and Chunmiao LI, Candied Plums, 2016
萧袤: 《西西》

Express Delivery from Dinosaur World, by Yanan DONG, Candied Plums, 2016
董亚楠: 《恐龙快递》

The Frog and the Boy, by Mao XIAO, Wei CHEN, Xiaomin HUANG, Candied Plums, 2016
萧袤: 《青蛙与男孩》

An’s Seed, by Zaozao WANG and Li HUANG, Candied Plums, 2016
王早早: 《安的种子》

Flame, by Zhucheng LIANG, Candied Plums, 2016
朱成梁: 《火焰》

Little Rabbit’s Questions, by Da You, Candied Plums, 2016
大友《小兔的问题》

Tan Hou and the Double Sixth Festival, by CAI Gao et al, Balestier Press, London & Singapore, 2016
作者: 向华 / 邬朝祝 整理 / 绘者 蔡皋 : 《晒龙袍的六月六》

Bibbit Jumps, by Bei Lynn, Gecko Press, 2020
林小杯:《步步蛙很愛跳》

The Mask that Loved to Count, by Luo Xi, Cardinal Media Kids, 2020
爱数数的口罩

The Empty Bowl, by AI Wener, Cardinal Media Kids, 2020
空饭盒

Grandpa's 14 Games, by Zhao Ling, Cardinal Media Kids, 2020
爷爷的14个游戏

A Journey of 600 Inches, by Zhang Xiaoling, Cardinal Media Kids, 2020
九千毫米的旅行

Levin the cat, by Tao Jiu, Cardinal Media Kids, 2020
列文是只猫

Mom is Hiding, by Qian Mo, Cardinal Media Kids, 2020
躲起来的妈妈

I am Hua Mulan, by Qin Wenjun, Balestier Press, 2020
我是花木兰

Myna Bird as Free as a Cloud, by Bai Bing, Balestier Press, 2020
云朵一样的八哥

Other publications

The Music of Ink at the British Museum (edited volume featuring Yang Lian, Romesh Gunesekera, Denis Brown, Qu Lei Lei, Rohan de Saram, Zeng Laide and Wang Tao), Saffron Books, London, 2012. Info here

Is Gao Xingjian’s play Chezhan merely a blind worship of modern Western plays as the critic He Wen claims? How far can Chezhan be compared with Beckett’s Waiting for Godot?, Bulletin of the British Association for Chinese Studies, 1986, pp. 83-89. Available here

Interviews and short pieces
Interview, with Julie Sullivan, in Words and Pictures (SCBWI), 7 Oct 2018.
Interview, with Nanette McGuinness, in SCBWI, The Blog, 7 Sept 2017.
Interview, with Eric Abrahamsen, for Paper Republic, April 2016. in English and in Chinese
Interview, with Daniel Hahn, in Books for Keeps.
On "Bronze and Sunflower" in LARB China Blog, 13 April 2016
Translating Children's Books - a short piece for Books from Taiwan (2015)
Learning about Chinese children's books - interview with Zoe Toft for Playing by the Book, 27 April 2015
Bronze and Sunflower - Ann Morgan's Book of the Month, April 2015
Guest Interview: Helen Wang on Children's Book Translation, interviewed by Avery Fischer Udagawa for Cynthia Leitich Smith's "Cynsations" blog, 26 May 2015
Review by Nicky Harman of Bronze and Sunflower in Tribune 6 March 2015

 

Read Now: On Paper Republic

Small Town by Li Jingrui October 11, 2018
Dragonworld by Zhang Xinxin November 03, 2016
Self-Portrait by Zhang Xinxin April 21, 2016
Ying Yang Alley by Fan Xiaoqing April 14, 2016
Sunshine in Winter by Shi Kang tr. Michelle Deeter, Killiana Liu, Juliet Vine and Helen Wang January 14, 2016
A Second Pregnancy, 1980 by Lu Min November 03, 2015
Xie Bomao R.I.P. by Lu Min October 29, 2015
Crows by Cao Wenxuan September 24, 2015
Missing by Li Jingrui August 06, 2015

Read Now: Around the Web

Huiwa's Stand by Cao Wenxuan Pathlight: New Chinese Writing
After the Inferno by Zhang Xinxin Words Without Borders
A Very Special Pigeon by Cao Wenxuan Writing Chinese
Floating (excerpt) by Hu Ching-fang Books from Taiwan
The Nowhere Trilogy (excerpt) by Tsen Peng-Wei Books from Taiwan

Book Publications

Leilong the Library Bus cover

Leilong the Library Bus

Julia Liu

July 01, 2021

Dragonfly Eyes cover

Dragonfly Eyes

Cao Wenxuan

January 02, 2021

Grandpa's 14 Games cover

Grandpa's 14 Games

Zhao Ling

October 20, 2020

The Empty Bowl cover

The Empty Bowl

AI Wener

October 20, 2020

A Journey of 600 Inches cover

A Journey of 600 Inches

Zhang Xiaoling

October 20, 2020

The Mask that Loved to Count cover

The Mask that Loved to Count

Luo Xi

October 20, 2020

Mom is Hiding cover

Mom is Hiding

Qian Mo

October 20, 2020

I am Hua Mulan cover

I am Hua Mulan

Qin Wenjun

October 01, 2020

Myna Bird as Free as a Cloud cover

Myna Bird as Free as a Cloud

Bai Bing

October 01, 2020

Levin the cat cover

Levin the cat

Tao Jiu

October 01, 2020

Levin is a cat cover

Levin is a cat

Tao Jiu

October 01, 2020

Grandpa's 14 Games cover

Grandpa's 14 Games

Zhao Ling

October 01, 2020

The Mask that Loved to Count cover

The Mask that Loved to Count

Luo Xi

October 01, 2020

A Journey of 9000 Millimetres cover

A Journey of 9000 Millimetres

Zhang Xiaoling

October 01, 2020

The Empty Lunchbox cover

The Empty Lunchbox

AI Wener

October 01, 2020

Mum is Hiding cover

Mum is Hiding

Qian Mo

October 01, 2020

Bibbit Jumps cover

Bibbit Jumps

Bei Lynn

September 01, 2020

I am Hua Mulan cover

I am Hua Mulan

Qin Wenjun

November 01, 2019

The Ventriloquist's Daughter cover

The Ventriloquist's Daughter

Man-chiu Lin

May 17, 2017

Express Delivery from Dinosaur World cover

Express Delivery from Dinosaur World

Dong Yanan

March 01, 2017

Little Rabbit's Questions cover

Little Rabbit's Questions

Gan Dayong

March 01, 2017

An's Seed cover

An's Seed

Wang Zaozao

March 01, 2017

Flame cover

Flame

Zhu Chengliang

March 01, 2017

Bronze and Sunflower cover

Bronze and Sunflower

Cao Wenxuan

April 01, 2015

All Translations

Short story (20)

Novella (1)

Essay (6)

Children's book (20)

Excerpt (6)

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.

Posts

Nicky Harman wins the Special Book Award of China

By Helen Wang, December 10, '20

Nicky Harman has just won a major award in China - The Special Book Award of China. It’s the 14th year of the awards and they are a big thing. As she was unable to attend the ceremony in China, on Monday, one of her publishers (Sinoist Books) and Guanghwa Bookshop organised a surprise zoom party for her, inviting the Chinese Cultural Attaché, her authors and friends in the Chinese literature community around the world either to attend in person or to send a short video recording. It was wonderful to see everyone! Even the Cultural Attaché, whose role was to be the official, was bowled over by the genuine friendship and informal atmosphere of the occasion - and that it was a meeting of friends! The organisers have just put the highlights on Youtube - https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=jsW1aUsPvds.

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A Century of Chinese Literature in Translation (1919–2019) English Publication and Reception

By Helen Wang, September 14, '20

A Century of Chinese Literature in Translation (1919–2019) English Publication and Reception
by Leah Gerber and Qi Lintao, published by Routledge, Sept 2020. ISBN 9780367321291

"Contributors from all around the world approach this theme from various angles, providing an overview of translation phenomena at key historical moments, identifying the trends of translation and publication, uncovering the translation history of important works, elucidating the relationship between translators and other agents, articulating the interaction between texts and readers and disclosing the nature of literary migration from Chinese into English."

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Translations from Chinese in 2017

By Helen Wang, November 21, '17

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As usual, we at Paper Republic have assembled a list of book-length translations from Chinese into English over the year. Congratulations to all authors and translators! This year’s list is longer than ever, and several books have won international prizes. Your additions, comments, corrections to this list are welcome - please leave a comment below and we’ll update the list.

This is our sixth annual list; previous lists are here: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

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GLLI (28) - On a cold December evening I headed to the Free Word Centre in London, to do something I had never tried before

By Helen Wang, February 28, '17

This is the last day in February, and our last post in the Global Literature in Libraries - Paper Republic series on Chinese literature. Thank you for following us! We're very grateful to all our contributors - we couldn't have managed a post a day without you! So far, all our contributors have a strong Chinese connection. But Chinese literature is not just for Chinese readers - so we asked Marinella Mezzanotte, a London-based writer (in English) and a translator (from Italian to English), who is a newbie to Chinese literature to tell us about one of our events and whether it worked for her. In December 2016 she came along to our second speed bookclub event organised by Paper Republic and the Free Word Centre in London. Here's Marinella's response:

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GLLI (27) - Raiding China's Tomb Adventures - by Xueting Christine Ni

By Helen Wang, February 27, '17

Our penultimate post is about popular Chinese fiction of the ghostly, grave-robbing kind. We are thrilled to post this piece by writer and translator Xueting Christine Ni, who is currently working with the fantasy and science fiction author Tang Fei, and writing a book on Chinese deities. Having studied English literature in London, and Chinese literature in Beijing, she is now based mainly in the UK.

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GLLI (25) - St Gregory’s School ‘Reading China’ book group - by Theresa Munford

By Helen Wang, February 25, '17

Theresa Munford teaches Chinese at a secondary school in the UK. She took the initiative a few years ago to set up a Chinese book group. At a workshop on Chinese children’s literature in 2016 she played a video in which she interviewed two of her teenage students about the Chinese books they had read. They spoke frankly and eloquently about the books they had read. We invited Theresa to tell us more about the bookclub...

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GLLI (24) - One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Social Experiment - by Mei Fong

By Helen Wang, February 24, '17

In October 2015 the Chinese government announced major changes to their population policy, commonly known as the One Child policy. Instead of curbs that limited one-third of Chinese households to strictly one child, Chinese families across the nation could have two children starting from 1 Jan 2016. With incredible timing, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Mei Fong's book One Child was at the publishers! I was invited to review it for the Los Angeles Review of Books and found Mei Fong's book very readable - there was a perfect balance of detailed research and stories of individual people in real circumstances. I particularly appreciated Mei Fong's skilful vignettes - for example, the couple in Wenchuan, who, within days of losing their teenage daughter in the devastating earthquake, decide to try for another child. The odds are stacked against them (age, vasectomy, cost, friends and family avoiding them for fear of being asked for money or support) and you wonder if they are grasping desperately at straws. Yet Mei Fong slips their shoes on to your feet so softly that you find yourself wondering how you would respond in their situation.

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GLLI (23) - The Ventriloquist’s Daughter: Between Fantasy and Reality – by Lin Man-chiu

By Helen Wang, February 23, '17

Spring 2017 will see the publication of The Ventriloquist’s Daughter, by Lin Man-chiu (tr. Helen Wang), the fourth Young Adult novel translated from Chinese and published by Balestier Press. Originally from Taiwan, Lin Man-chiu has travelled extensively in South America, and her experiences there inspired this story. The following piece is adapted from the Author’s Preface in the Chinese edition, and we’re delighted to have permission to publish it here.

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GLLI (21) - Translations in the British Library - by Frances Wood

By Helen Wang, February 21, '17

Frances Wood is the author of several books, including most recently Betrayed Ally: China in the Great War (2016) and her new book Great Books of China: From Ancient Times to the Present (2017). Now retired, she was, for over thirty years, one of the key librarians and curators of the Chinese section of the British Library. We were delighted when Frances agreed to tell us what it was like to work there and how the UK’s national library went about collecting translations...

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GLLI (20) - Jia Pingwa as Global Literature - by Nick Stember

By Helen Wang, February 20, '17

Nick Stember is a historian and translator of Chinese comics and science fiction. In 2015 he completed a Master of Arts in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia. His work has been featured in The International Journal of Comic Art, Clarkesworld Magazine, LEAP: The International Art Magazine of Contemporary China, and The China Story Yearbook. He is currently working closely with the Jia Pingwa Institute, in Xi’an, to bring more of Jia’s work into English.

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