Newsletter Issue Eight: Signing off for 2021

By Jack Hargreaves, published

cover image

Hello and happy holidays y'all. I say that now, since the newsletter has settled into a regular monthly release for the time being, and this is the last you'll hear from me until the New Year. In the meantime, the PR team will get to planning the features for 2022, so if there's a subject you'd like to see us zoom in on -- be it an author, upcoming release, recent trend, anything Chinese lit related really -- please send your suggestions to us at and remember, you can sign up for the email version of this newsletter here.

My choice picks from this edition are, in no particular order, Chaoyang Trap House's evolving dictionary of the Chinese internet, because it taught me a new phrase, the new episode of "Sinophone Unrealities", because Natascha Bruce, Dorothy Tse and birds, and the LitHub excerpt from Lydia Davis' new book of essays on translation, because, well, because...

"In translating, you are forming phrases and sentences that please you at least to some extent and most of the time. You have the pleasure of working with sound, rhythm, image, rhetoric, the shape of a paragraph, tone, voice. And [...] you have this writing pleasure within the island of the given text, within its distinct perimeter."

On to 2022!

Extracts, stories and poems:
- Read "Searching for a Tiger" by Chan Yeong Siew, tr. Nicholas Y. H. Wong, and excerpts from Little Po’s Birthday by Lao She, tr. Shawn Hoo, in Pr&ta's inaugural issue
- Read our very own Nicky Harman's reflections on More Than One Child: Memoirs of an Illegal Daughter, the memoir by Shen Yang
- Read "A Ramble Through the Heart" by Chua Chim Kang, tr. Tan Dan Feng, from the new Renditions available here
- Read translator and illustrator Frankie Huang's translation of her own dad's story, "New Year Shopping"
- Read the first instalment of Hsieh Yi-An's piece on "Taiwan’s Yaoguai Literature", tr. Joshua Dyer
- Read "To Longtang with a Bamboo Sword" by Lin Sen, tr. Jim Weldon, from Pathlight's latest issue
- Appreciate Lydia Davis's insights on How Translation Opens a Writer’s Mind -- "In translation, you are writing, yes, but not only writing—you are also solving, or trying to solve, a set problem not of your own creation. The problem can’t be evaded, as it can in your own writing, and it may haunt you later"

- Watch "Surviving from the Uyghur Crisis: Ethnicity, Gender, and Ethics", a talk around the premiere issue of multi-lingual literature journal She&, which focuses on Testimony from Female Uyghur Survivors—a Crisis of Ethnicity, Culture and Political Identity. The issue publishes a collection of poems written by Uyghur women and a first Chinese-language work of literary witness to the Uyghur re-education camps. 8 Dec!! Here is a working link to buy the issue on Kindle, and here is a little more info on it
- The second book club by Sinoist Books, this time they're reading Su Tong's Shadow of the Hunter with translator James Trapp

- Find out which Chinese publisher snapped up the rights for Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah's works
- The “witty, touching and mysterious” Strange Beasts of China is runner-up in the 2021 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation
- Yan Lianke is one of the inaugural Royal Society of Literature Writers
- Author Shen Yang is Author of the Month at The Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing
- Buy discounted books from Sinoist Books with the code trchfic10
- A History of Taiwan Literature by Ye Shitao, tr. Christopher Lupke, wins the MLA Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Scholarly Study of Literature

Reviews and releases:
- After a starred review Liu Xinwu's The Wedding Party, tr. Jeremy Tiang is Book of the Week at Publishers Weekly
- Find out which translated Chinese works ended up on The Washington Post's list of best sci-fi, fantasy and horror novels
- Enjoy a double review of poetry translations by Fiona Sze-Lorrain
- Can you guess which novelist's work appeared on the NYTimes' 100 Notable Books of 2021 (clue: it's in the list two above as well...)
- An interview with Sheng Keyi about Death Fugue, recently published in the US
- Now available Zhang Xinxin's Self-Portrait in a bilingual edition, tr. Helen Wang
- Li Juan and Liu Cixin make World Literature Today’s 100 Notable Translations of 2021
- Translator and editor Mike Fu on one of the books of this year The Membranes by Chi Ta-wei, tr. Ari Larissa Heinrich
- A review of Oriental Silk by Xiaowen Zhu
- An interview with Xueting Christine Ni, editor and translator for the sci-fi anthology Sinopticon
- A review of A Single Swallow by Zhang Ling, tr. Shelly Bryant
- Forbes recommends Winter Pasture as one of the 13 books that will open your eyes to a more diverse world of travel
- Sinopticon is a celebration of Chinese science fiction’s diversity "in stories of zombie apocalypse, migration in space and AI-human interaction"

- Watch Chia-rong Wu discuss Taiwanese ghost-island literature (鬼島文學)
- Read the transcript of a roundtable on whether Chinese Science Fiction can transcend binary thinking
- Learn what “boundary ball” (打擦边球) means, in the first instalment of Chaoyang Trap House's new series "Rewilding" -- an evolving dictionary of the Chinese internet
- Catch the new Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast on Murong Xuecun and Dancing Through Red Dust, with Harvey Tomlinson. Plus, there's a review of the podcast here
- Make it a podcast fest with the new "Sinophone Unrealities" episode with translator Natascha Bruce about her translation of Dorothy Tse's Owlish


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