2014 translations from Chinese - a bumper crop

By Nicky Harman, published

Part of: Year-End Roll Call

Chinese to English translations (books) 2014

For the last two years we have published a list of Chinese to English translations (books only) over the year. Here is our list for 2014.

As always, if we’ve missed one out, please post it below. (Previous lists are here: 2012 and 2013).

We have also added most of these titles to our list on Goodreads.


1 Black Holes, by He Jiahong, tr Emily Jones (Penguin China) publisher's page

2 The Book of Sins, by Chen Xiwo, tr Nicky Harman (MakeDo Publishing) English PEN's page

3 Boy in the Twilight: Stories of the Hidden China, by Yu Hua, tr Allan H Barr (Pantheon) review in The Economist

4 Death Fugue, Sheng Keyi tr Shelly Bryant (Giramondo Publishing) review in The New York Times

5 Decoded, by Mai Jia, tr Olivia Milburn and Christopher Payne (Allen Lane) review in The Guardian

6 Last Words from Montmartre, by Qiu Miaojin, tr Ari Larissa Heinrich (New York Review Books) publisher's page

7 Memory and Oblivion, by Wang Zhousheng, tr Tony Blishen (Simon & Schuster) publisher's page

8 Running Through Beijing, by Xu Zechen, tr Eric Abrahamsen (Two Lines Press) publisher's page

9 Snow and Shadow, by Dorothy Tse, tr Nicky Harman (Muse) book homepage

10 The Last Lover, by Can Xue, tr Annelise Finegan Wasmoean (Yale University Press) publisher's page

11 The Tabby Cat's Tale, by Han Dong, tr Nicky Harman (Frisch & Co) review in Numero Cinq Magazine

12 The Three-Body Problem, by Liu Cixin, tr Ken Liu (Tor) Review on Intellectus Speculativus

13 The Unbearable Dreamworld of Champa the Driver, by Chan Koonchung, tr Nicky Harman (Doubleday) publisher's page

14 White Horse, by Yan Ge, tr Nicky Harman (Hope Road Publishing) publisher's page

15 Frogs, by Mo Yan, tr Howard Goldblatt (Hamish Hamilton) review on The Financial Times


1 A Loud Noise, by Han Dong, tr Nicky Harman (Chinese University Press) publisher's page

2 Across Borders, by Xue Di, tr Alison Friedman (Green Integer) review on Xichuan Poetry

3 Canyon in the Body, by Lan Lan, tr Fiona Sze-Lorrain (Zephyr Press) publishers's page

4 Derangements of My Contemporaries, by Li Shangyin, tr Chloe Garcia-Roberts (New Directions) publisher's page

5 Grass Roots, by Xiang Yang, tr John Balcom (Zephyr Press) publisher's page

6 The Mountain Poems of Stonehouse, by Stonehouse, tr Red Pine (Copper Canyon) publisher's page

7 Phoenix, by Ouyang Jianghe, tr Austin Woerner (Zephyr Press) publisher's page

8 Salsa, by Hsia Yu, tr Steve Bradbury (Zephyr Press) page on SPD

9 Something Crosses My Mind, by Wang Xiaoni, tr Eleanor Goodman (Zephyr Press) publisher's page

10 Song of Shadows, by Xiao Hai, tr Zhu Yu (Restless Books) publishers' page

11 The Power of Enlightenment: Chinese Zen Poems, by Wu Yansheng, tr Tony Blishen (Shanghai Press) page on Restless Books

12 Wandering Hong Kong with Spirits, by Liu Waitong, tr Desmond Sham (Zephyr Press) Goodreads page

13 His Days Go By the Way Her Years by Ye Mimi, translated by Steve Bradbury (Taiwan; Anomalous Press) publisher's page

Helen Wang, Nicky Harman

PS The links after each book are of reviews we've found or, in some cases, the publishers' link. Feel free to suggest other good reviews.

PPS October Dedications, The Selected Poetry of Mang Ke, tr Lucas Klein (Zephyr Press) Goodreads page was originally included on this list, but will actually appear in 2015.


# 1.   

Thanks so much for doing this, Nicky!

Eric Abrahamsen, November 16, 2014, 11:49a.m.

# 2.   

For a review of Chan Koonchung's novel Unbearable Dreamworld, starring a dépaysé Tibetan, see:

Champa the Driver: Tibetan Dreamer in an Alien Land

Bruce, November 19, 2014, 12:34a.m.

# 3.   

Wow! Thanks for the list. Translating Chinese books to English will give readers an overview of the Chinese culture and only professional translators can accomplish the task while preserving its original context.

AllGraduates Interpreting and Translating Services, November 22, 2014, 3:40p.m.

# 4.   

Another 2 to add to the list!
(1) "Leave Me Alone", by Murong, tr Harvey Thomlinson (Make Do Publishing)
(2) "I Did Not Kill My Husband", by Liu Zhenyun, tr Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-Chun Lin (Cellphone) - reviewed here: https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/liu-zhenyun/i-did-not-kill-my-husband/

Helen Wang, November 23, 2014, 3:12p.m.

# 5.   

Thanks! I thought "Leave Me Alone" was published several years ago?

And I'm assuming "I Did Not Kill My Husband" is actually 《我不是潘金莲》...

Eric Abrahamsen, November 24, 2014, 1:24a.m.

# 6.   

This is terrific -- thanks so much for putting this together, Helen and Nicky!

Chenxin, November 25, 2014, 1:21a.m.

# 7.   

I don't really understand what a bumper harvest means if you don't mind taking a look at the following link to know about the current situation of translation in mainland China. It is about the critique of a first prize winner in translation competition of a variety of translators. Enjoy. http://bbs.tianya.cn/post-english-243936-1.shtml

Lao Zhang, December 3, 2014, 2:50p.m.

# 8.   

I've just been told about another work to add to the list for 2014, Cai Jun (蔡骏)'s "A Child's Past Life", translated by Yang Yushi, published by Amazon Crossing

Nicky Harman, January 20, 2015, 10:14a.m.

# 9.   

My apologies for misspelling the translator's name: Yang Yuzhi, not Yushi.

Nicky Harman, January 20, 2015, 3:54p.m.

# 10.   

And here's another: Eileen Chang’s ‘Half a Lifelong Romance’ was translated by Karen Kingsbury and published in 2014 by UK's Penguin Classics. "Why did it take decades for “Half a Lifelong Romance” to be translated into English?" asks the reviewer, Ilaria Maria Sala in the WSJ. We might well ask, along the same lines: "Why did it take six months for the translation to appear on the P R radar?" Or, put more simply, how can we be sure, when we do the end-of-year translations from Chinese round-up, that we've haven't missed anyone out? No doubt this translation will appear on the Three Percent 2015 list - because its US publication is 2015, not 2014. But it's frustrating, all the same, that we don't have a more reliable way to collate them than word-of-mouth and memory. And now I'm off to start reading it! I got a kindle copy this afternoon.

Nicky Harman, January 23, 2015, 8:27p.m.

# 11.   

And another Amazon Crossing one has surfaced from 2014: Old Land New Tales, short stories from Shaanxi. Multiple writers (including Jia Pingwa) and multiple translators.

Nicky Harman, January 28, 2015, 2:37p.m.

# 12.   

Nicky's link to the Old Land New Tales Amazon page allows you preview the book and see the authors and translators. This book appears to have been published by China Intercontinental Press in 2011 - it's on p.113 of their catalogue - or 2012 according to worldcat

Helen Wang, January 29, 2015, 5:06p.m.


Your email will not be published
Raw HTML will be removed
Try using Markdown:
[link text](http://link-address.com/)
End line with two spaces for a single line break.