Eric lived in Beijing from late 2001, when he studied Chinese at the Central University for Nationalities, until the end of 2016. He began struggling through Wang Xiaobo at an early date, and kept at it through the intervening years. He is the recipient of a PEN translation grant for Wang Xiaobo's My Spiritual Homeland and a NEA grant for Xu Zechen's Running Through Zhongguancun, later published as Running Through Beijing, which was shortlisted for the National Translation Award.
His short-story translations have appeared in magazines including The New Yorker, Granta, and n+1. He also writes occasional cultural criticism, which has appeared in the New York Times and Foreign Policy, among other venues.
Paper Republic has been through several incarnations during our twelve
years of operation – from the early days of translators drinking cheap
beer in Beijing, to the brainstorming session in the back room of the
Beijing Bookworm where we came up with the name “Paper Republic”, to
the first dog-slow Wordpress site. We started off as a place
for translators to talk to each other, and soon transitioned into a
platform for helping people learn about Chinese literature.
Over those twelve years we’ve done a whole lot of different stuff, almost all on a volunteer basis.
Literature database; translation services; thought-provoking blog posts; online
reading; magazine production; literary agency; publishing consulting;
publishing fellowship; literary festivals. At some point we started feeling a little dizzy, and it seemed
increasingly important to regroup a bit according to our original goals:
to bring the best works of Chinese literature into English; to support
emerging translators; and to maintain the internet’s best resource for
We realized that these goals are essentially non-profit in nature, and
that it didn't make much sense to try to run Paper Republic as a regular
company. The solution: to register as a non-profit! More specifically,
as a Charitable Incorporated
Organization, based in the UK.
We set up the charity this year. We have a great group of trustees who oversee what we do and bring us the benefit of their experience, and our management team continues to work on projects, mostly as volunteers. You can see a little more background at
our about page, and meet the gang here. If you’d like to support us via Paypal,
we’d be thrilled.
Meanwhile, a few of our more commercially-oriented projects –
Pathlight magazine, publishing consulting, and literary agency –
will go to a US company we’re calling Coal Hill Books. Feel free to
get in touch if you’d like to know more.
Lastly, if you’re in London, watch this space for an announcement of a
launch party, with wine and books and balloons and all other things
necessary for a literary get-together. We hope you’ll join us and
The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia administers the Freeman Book Award, given to a children's or young adult book from or about an Asian countries, which has potential to be used in an educational setting. Books must be in or translated into English, and published in the US in the past year. The next submissions deadline is August 31st, 2019.
Pathlight Magazine, a Paper Republic publication, is looking for a new
The position is about half time (though sometimes busier than others),
and based in Beijing. You will be working together (mostly remotely)
with Paper Republic editors, and with People’s Literature Magazine,
our Chinese partners. Responsibilities include:
Keeping the magazine to a quarterly publication schedule.
Working with Paper Republic and People’s Literature to
collectively choose a theme and a table of contents for each issue.
Assigning and collecting translations.
Editing translations, or assigning editing work to other editors.
Doing social media promotion.
We’ll provide translator and editor resources, and help connect you
with everyone you need to talk to.
Salary is paid per issue, and is competitive.
Our ideal candidate:
Is in Beijing.
Is a Chinese => English translator. One of the strengths of
Pathlight is that our translations are edited by translators.
Is organized, and not afraid to crack the whip.
Is conversant with contemporary Chinese fiction and poetry.
Has some familiarity with digital publishing, including using
InDesign and manipulating epub files.
Has a bit of experience dealing with Chinese government-owned
Would be available to start in the next couple months.
You can find the "Suggest an addition" link on the left-hand side of the PR pages, or follow this link directly. Right now it's limited to suggesting works of literature (though there's a write-in field for authors who aren't in the database), but I hope to eventually expand the options. If you're adding new works of literature to the database, please remember that Chinese originals and English translations have equal standing, so make two suggestions.
And thanks! If you have any suggestions about the suggestion (meta-suggestions!), please leave them in comments on this post.
Deadline is March 1st, 2018 for the Vermont Studio Center/Luce Foundation Chinese Poetry & Translation Fellowships. Five poets and five translators can travel to Vermont for a four-week residency to work on poetry and poetry translation. See this link for details, and information on past fellows.
China's domestic literary prizes are often viewed with uncertainty from abroad: Who runs them? Are they trustworthy? How are the different prizes specialized? Which should we be paying attention to? We've asked Chen Dongmei, who usually exerts her influence behind the scenes, to step forward and give us a rundown of prizes for adult and children's literature, to try to shed some light on these questions.
Zhang Lijia, author of Socialism is Great!, is talking about her first novel, Lotus, February 1 7pm at the NY Barnes & Noble, 82nd and Broadway. See this link for more information, and stop by if you're in town!
From the event blurb: Inspired by the secret life of author Lijia Zhang's grandmother, Lotus follows a young woman torn between past traditions and modern desires as she carves out a life for herself in China's "City of Sins." This perceptive, sensitive novel examines what it means to be an individual in a society that praises restraint in and obedience from its women.
English PEN has this program called "PEN Presents", where they provide translators with funding to promote books they want to translate, and this year they're accepting applications from East and South-East Asia. From their announcement
PEN Presents aims to help publishers to discover – and publish – the most exciting books from around the world, whilst supporting emerging translators in their development as advocates for international literature. Each year the initiative presents six exciting books by contemporary authors, recommended by literary translators, which have not yet been acquired for English-language publication. Each round of PEN Presents focusses on a different region of the world.
They're working with the Asia Literary Review for this year's program – see this link for application instructions. The deadline is December 5, 2016.
So we're about halfway through our program of literary events
surrounding the 2016 Beijing International Book Fair, which so far has
been great fun. Last year, the first year Paper Republic did these
"Literary Salons", we were too exhausted to post about this at all,
let alone halfway through the program, so I suppose this is progress!
To me, it's clear what "progress" consists of: more hands on deck.
Last year it was just Dongmei and me; this year we've added Min Jie as
our third PR employee, and have a team of three awesome interns,
Lirong, Yutong, and Mingjun. The whole thing is much more under
control, and it's possible to actually enjoy ourselves!
I'll post a few pictures below, but first a few memorable moments:
Putting Alejandro Zambra, the Chilean cultural attaché, and the
Chilean ambassador on a stage which, several weeks after we booked
it, was turned into part of the children's book zone. The three of
them discussed Chilean history and literature against a Finding
Nemo backdrop, while the audience sat on colorful little squishy
Tic-Tac stools. Zambra is a good sport.
A cocktail party at the Beijing Bookworm. The Bookworm of course
runs their international literary festival every March, a much
larger and more long-running event than what we're doing here. But
the two things are complimentary in spirit, and I'm really glad we
were able to work together for the fun part of this week.
Acting as impromptu bodyguard for Nobel laureate Svetlana
Alexievich yesterday. Most audience members at the fairground were
well-behaved, but a handful had obviously come because – hell or
high water – they were going to get a Nobel laureate's signature,
even if they had to tackle her. I wasn't expecting tussling to be a
part of our literary festival, but hey, it was exciting.