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

Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square

By Helen Wang, March 14, '12

Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square: The Chinese Literary Diaspora and the Politics of Global Culture by Belinda Kong

Compelling us to think about how Chinese culture, identity, and politics are being defined in the diaspora, Tiananmen Fictions Outside the Square candidly addresses issues of political exile, historical trauma, global capital, and state biopower…

Read more about this book… on http://www.temple.edu/tempress/titles/2176_reg.html

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Call for Chinese Playwrights

By Helen Wang, March 14, '12

National Theatre of Scotland & National Theatre of China -
First UK season of New Writing from contemporary Chinese playwrights in 2013

An international new writing project is being launched in both China and Scotland on 8th March 2012 with the aim of discovering six new Chinese writers to develop their work with the assistance of National Theatre of Scotland practitioners. Successful playwrights will have their work produced as part of Òran Mór’s A Play, a Pie and a Pint Chinese Season in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2013.

For more information and application forms

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Watch Your Language?

By Helen Wang, March 13, '12

From The International Herald Tribune:

Watch Your Language! (In China, They Really Do) by Mark McDonald

Scaling the wall. Buying soy sauce. Fifty cents. A mild collision. May 35. Mayor Lymph. River crab. - These words — mild, silly, inoffensive — are part of the subversive lexicon being used by Chinese bloggers to ridicule the government, poke fun at Communist Party leaders and circumvent the heavily censored Internet in China. A popular blog that tracks online political vocabulary, China Digital Times, calls them part of the “resistance discourse” on the mainland.

Read more...

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Working Titles: Chinese Novels About Work

By Helen Wang, March 13, '12

From The New Yorker:

Working Titles: What do the most industrious people on earth read for fun? by Leslie T. Chang

What do the Chinese read in their spare time? Novels about work. The seventh volume of “The Diary of Government Official Hou Weidong” was published in July, with an initial print run of two hundred thousand copies. Zhichang xiaoshuo, or workplace novels, have topped best-seller lists in recent years. “Du Lala’s Promotion Diary,” by a corporate executive writing under the pen name Li Ke, is the story of a young woman who rises from secretary to human-resources manager at a Fortune 500 company. The books have sold five million copies...

Read more...

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Don’t miss Brian Holton, Yang Lian, W.N. Herbert, Nicky Harman and David Constantine

By Helen Wang, March 12, '12

"Bringing Chinese poetry to the UK" Literary Translation Centre, London Bookfair, 18 April.
(http://www.londonbookfair.co.uk/en/Sessions/243/Bringing-Chinese-Poetry-to-the-UK/)

The blurb for this session asks "How important are promotional events or readings, if at all?" If you've ever heard Brian Holton, W.N. Herbert and Yang Lian you will know the answer to this question. If you haven't, see the links below. I single out these three, because I have seen and heard them perform live and it's just not the same as reading the words on the page!

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Paper Republic Challenge

By Helen Wang, March 12, '12

In a rash moment, I offered to post a new entry on Paper Republic every day until the London Bookfair. Now Nicky suggests that I come clean and say who I am and why I’m doing this!

3 comments

Editing Chinese fiction

By Helen Wang, March 11, '12

Kate Griffin has just written a piece about editing Chinese fiction for the Writers' Centre, Norwich:

“On the way back from Australia in December 2011, I spent a week in Shanghai and Beijing talking to Chinese writers, translators and editors about the editing culture in China (or lack thereof) and its impact on translation, and about support for writers. After a few days of intense conversation I gained a fascinating glimpse into the writing life in China today. All those I spoke with agreed that there is both a serious need for more professional editing as well as a shortage of experienced editors within the Chinese publishing industry…” Read the full article here

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Yan Lianke and Cindy Carter nominated for Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2012

By Helen Wang, March 11, '12

The judges this year are Boyd Tonkin (The Independent), Hephzibah Anderson (writer and critic), Nick Barley (Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival), Professor Jon Cook (Director of Creative and Performing arts, University of East Anglia) and Xiaolu Guo (who was shortlisted for this prize for her novel Village of Stone). There are fifteen on the long list. The winner will be announced at the London Bookfair on Monday 16 March [sorry, this should be Monday 16 April]. See the article in The Independent (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/features/the-independent-foreign-fiction-prize-longlist-spans-a-planet-of-stories-7545606.html).

1 comment

Podcasts of Chinese stories and poems

By Helen Wang, March 9, '12

The recent podcasts of Han Dong’s A Loud Noise (poem) and Deer Park (short story) prompted me to look for more. I found a few things – see below. It would be great to know if there are any good websites out there with podcasts of stories read in Chinese?

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Shanghai International Literary Festival, 2-18 March 2012

By Helen Wang, March 8, '12

M-on-the-Bund 米氏西餐厅

Speakers include:
- Geremie R. Barmé: West Lake: A World Made by Literature and Politics
- Ouyang Yu: Speaking English, Thinking Chinese and Living Australian. Living and writing between different worlds and languages
- Shan Sa: The Art of Literature. With the artist, poet and novelist (The Girl Who Played Go)
- Xu Xi: Creative “I”: A Writing Workshop in Narrative Prose (creative non-fiction & fiction)
- Amy Tan: On Shanghai, Life & Writing
- Xu Xi, Ovidia Yu: The New Asian Character. Addressing the Asian transnational experience. Moderated by Nury Vittach
- Li Er: The Magician of 1919. One of China’s most influential contemporary fiction writers on dreams, imagination and history
- Ovidia Yu: Chinese Mouth, English Words. The author of Chinese New Year Murders on why it feels strange yet natural to write in English about being Chinese

The full programme…

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Gao Xingjian’s "Of Mountains and Seas: A Tragicomedy of Gods" at the Hong Kong Festival

By Helen Wang, March 7, '12

The Hong Kong Festival has commissioned Gao Xingjian and theatre director Li Zhaohua [LIN Zhaohua, thanks btr] to create a new production of Gao’s "Of Mountains and Seas: A Tragicomedy of Gods" based on the Shanhaijing (山海经). It is the first time they have worked together in 30 years. In the 1980s Lin produced three of Gao’s plays: Absolute Signal, Bus Stop and Wild Man. For more info...

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