Paper Republic: Chinese Literature Matters

信使之函 (lit. The Messenger's Letter)

Novella by Sun Ganlu.

This collection of Chinese short novels features two works by one of China's most prolific writers. The Messenger's Letter is a poetic novella that defies categorization. Taking its inspiration from the surreal imagery of writers such as Franz Kafka, the story describes the Messenger's epic attempt to deliver his letter in the strange and sinister Whispering City, where he encounters the mysterious six-fingered people. The author explores the twin themes of trust and doubt with dark humor and conviction. The story reveals itself as an intricate puzzle with no easy answers and is a sustained meditation on the absurdities of existence. The Messenger's Letter has won widespread acclaim for its bold and unconventional style.

Remembering the Lady of Qin is the story of a young boy growing up in a matriarchal family in Shanghai. The boy's mother and grandmother offer the emotional security he craves as a child, but it is a chance meeting with a headstrong and attractive family friend that starts the young man on a passionate and turbulent journey. The story is a coming of age drama, where the boy's intellectual longing to write and develop as an artist is spurred on by a mysterious and seductive woman, who is at once so close, and yet always unfathomable and unattainable.


The Messenger's Letter

Translated by Daniel Clutton and Gina Wang


The Messenger's Letter Better Link Press, Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company Dec. 2010 Mainland China