• Published:
  • January 2, 2018

A (Very) Overdue Update

Somehow it’s been six (six!) months since I last posted an update here, so here’s a quick overview of what went down in the second half of 2017:

I’ve now completed the two novel translations I started in 2016: Give Me a Girl at Age Eighteen (十八岁给我一个姑娘) by Feng Tang (冯唐) and Cherries on the Pomegranate Tree (石榴树上结樱桃) by Li Er (李洱). These were translated for Chinese publishing organisations, and the rights for both remain available – please do let me know if you’re interested in learning more about either title or reading a sample. I’ve also translated a few short stories over the last couple of months, which will be appearing in various places in the not-too-distant future.

New blog: is a new side project dedicated to words on walls in China. It’s a weekly(ish) blog featuring an example of the written word – adverts, posters, signs, graffiti – in public spaces. This is something I was planning to do for a long time, and it’s exciting to finally get it launched. I explain a little bit about what inspired the blog in the first post.

It was a pleasure to return to the Poetry Translation Centre back in June, and you can see our two translations of poems by Shen Haobo (沈浩波) – “Lonavala Dawn” and “Valentine’s Day” – at their website (including the original poem, a literal translation, the group’s collective translation, and notes by poet Clare Pollard), plus my brief introduction to the “Lower Body” (下半身) poetry movement Shen represents. I also took part in a great event at Guanghwa Bookshop with Wu Qi (吴琦), the editor of Dandu magazine.


And since coming back to Beijing I’ve been moderator at a couple of events at the Bookworm: with Xu Zechen (徐则臣) and Dimitris Sotakis, and with Zhang Yueran (张悦然) and Genevive Imbot-Bichet (during the Beijing International Bookfair in August); and with A Yi (阿乙), Wen Zhen (文珍), Guy Helminger, and Jasna Horvat (for the inaugural EU-China Literary Festival in November):


Things have been a bit quiet at Pathlight magazine recently, but we have a backlog of finished issues which we’re now ready to start releasing online in ebook form – starting with issue 16, “Growing Up”:


There’s also a new Pathlight project in the works which we’ll be making an announcement about soon!

We also had a new series of releases on Read Paper Republic in November: “Bare Branches” was themed around China’s Singles Day, and – organised by Michelle Deeter – it featured short stories by Song Aman (宋阿曼), Jiang Yitan (蒋一谈), Da Si (大斯) and Wu Jun (吴君). Jiang Yitan’s story is also featured as the story of the month at the LA Review of Books China Channel.

I’ve just finished putting together a list of the best books published in Chinese in 2017, as recommended by authors, translators, editors, and other friends of Paper Republic. It turned out to be a fascinating list, with an intriguingly diverse range of selections. My own picks were the new titles by Wen Zhen (文珍), Lu Min (鲁敏) and Mu Ye (木叶), as well as the new literary journal Si Nan (思南文学选刊):


And that’s about it! I’m also still teaching, and I’ll be starting on my next novel translation soon.