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14 Incredible Chinese Novels in Translation

We all know that China is the nation on everyone’s lips this century. Whether you’re into politics, trade, economics, cinema, travel, history, fashion, whatever your passion, China is a colossal talking point. China is also flourishing in the realm of literature in translation. Chinese novels in translation are some of the most ground-breaking and exciting …

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How East Asian Cover Artists Created Honford Star’s Unique Covers

Taylor Bradley from publisher Honford Star shares insight into their process of choosing local cover designers for their East Asian books and why they wouldn’t consider doing it any other way. For the first book that we published at Honford Star, we made a small but hugely influential decision – we’d hire a Korean artist …

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Why Monkey King is One of the Four Great Chinese Novels

I’ve written and spoken before about how exciting Chinese literature in the 21st Century is. If you aren’t paying attention to the wealth of imaginative, surreal, political, and evocative Chinese novels in translation right now, you really should be. Chinese literature, however, has a very particular legacy. So much so, in fact, that this legacy …

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Review: A Lover’s Discourse by Xiaolu Guo

Xiaolu Guo needs no introduction. Born in a Zhejiang fishing village, studied in Beijing, moved to London in 2002. Guo has directed several movies and documentaries since moving to the UK, and is perhaps best known for her novel A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers and her memoir Once Upon a Time in the East, …

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Review: Hunter School by Sakinu Ahronglong

Those of us who read a broad spectrum of world literature in translation often do so in order to broaden our perspectives, understand other cultures’ ways of writing, processing the world, and expressing themselves through art. With Taiwan being one of my favourite countries and cultures, I’ve read every Taiwanese book in translation I can …

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5 Groundbreaking Chinese Science Fiction Books

Reading international literature has its obvious benefits. The biggest and boldest of them being a lesson in empathy: learning how other cultures approach life, make their art, and tell their stories. We often think about international literature in terms of literary fiction; books that are grounded within the culture they come from. But what about …

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5 Yan Lianke Books (Author of the Best Chinese Novels)

In his book China in Ten Words, author Yu Hua discusses in detail the multiple plights of the writers and artists of China. Censorship, legal battles, ownership; so many of a writer’s rights and freedoms can be put at risk, and they are on a daily basis. It doesn’t matter if these are the best …

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Review: The Book of Shanghai (A City in Short Fiction)

Comma Press has, for several years now, been collecting short stories from authors based in cities around the world. Stories that speak to the cities they’re about. Stories that bring the city to life in surreal, explorative, and revelatory ways. The Book of Shanghai is easily my favourite in this series since The Book of …

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Review: That We May Live – Speculative Chinese Fiction

That We May Live is bold, strange, and exciting. It takes risks, as most Chinese fiction does, and that risk pays off. Being a writer in China is risky business. Certain topics are off limits, writers like Ma Jian live in exile overseas, and journalists can write whatever they please about you, whether or not …

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Review: Braised Pork by An Yu

Braised Pork is an unusual kind of debut. It’s a novel that’s been finely tuned, elegantly crafted, lovingly polished to a mirror sheen, and yet ultimately comes off feeling a little flat, never reaching the narrative or philosophical heights it hinted at from page one. As a work of literary craftsmanship, it’s a fantastic book …

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