Are you within reach of London and interested in contemporary Chinese fiction? Come to “Autumn Chronicles: Book Clubbing with Britain’s Most Loved Translators” at the Guanghwa Bookshop, 112 Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 5EJ, on Tuesday, 5 September 2017 from 19:30 to 21:00 (BST). Join us for face-to-face discussions with four award-winning Chinese literature translators: Nicky Harman, Natascha Bruce, Emily Jones and Helen Wang. Themed “Autumn Chronicles”, our forthcoming speed-bookclub will present four tales in which four women are coming to the end of their lives. Liu Ting’s Autumn Harvest Chronicles, a woman reflects on a grim past as she harvests the family’s buckwheat; in Ho Sok Fong’s The Wall, a giant wall drives an old woman to search obsessively for a cat; In Fan Xiaoqing’s Ying Yang Alley, a surprise visit from a stranger brightens an old lady’s afternoon; in Jia Pingwa’s elegiac Back-flow River, a childless woman makes the bravest decision of her life. These elegantly-written stories, by both male and female authors, are both sad and funny but always readable. There will be plenty to discuss! Book here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/autumn-chronicles-book-clubb…
If you love exploring the world, storytelling and books, join us on our next fictional journey that’s just as rewarding as the real thing. Whether you’re a London local or new to the city, come and connect with others who want to see the world with fresh eyes and open minds.
Free Word Centre, and Paper-Republic.org translators , are running a speedbookclubbing evening at Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA, Monday 12th December 2016. We’ll be presenting four short stories translated from Chinese. Sign up, read the stories in advance (or read the Cheat Sheet, if you don’t have time to read them all) and come along for some brilliant discussion.
“Dragonworld”: In these tales of death, desire, and despair, a police officer investigating a brutal murder interrogates his chief suspect, but the details of the crime itself are constantly shifting. A woman hopes a knight in shining armour will offer her an escape from the road she seems destined to pace forever. A dispute between two witnesses to a killing results in a fatal duel. A teenage gamer must find a way to deal with the concrete-hungry dragons that are somehow taking over his town.
Here’s the link: https://www.freewordcentre.com/whats-on/dragonworld-china?spektrix_bounce=true. Do come if you can. The last time we ran a speedbookclubbing event, it was a big success, a sell-out in fact.
Following the first year of Read Paper Republic weekly stories, we present a new mini-series of six stories, “Afterlives”, in which death is merely the beginning of the story.
On 27.10.16, we posted Dragon Boat, about ghost sex! The protagonist, Yuye, wanders around coastal areas of Hong Kong at Dragon Boat Festival, encounters a ghostly girl, and meets an unfortunate end when he sleeps with her.
On 3.11.16, the story was Dragonworld, in which video games addict Zhaishao finds his town has been infested with concrete-guzzling dragons – but is unsure whether they actually exist, or are figments of digitally-stimulated imagination.
Next Thursday, 10.11.16, our story will be Where Did I Lose You? Wang You reflects on how that ubiquitous item of social intercourse, the name card, can take on a weird life of its own. He is contacted by an old lady who says that her deceased husband often talked about him. Wang has no memory of him whatsoever, but he invents some stories to satisfy her….Go online to read what happens next.
We at Paper Republic are a collective of literary translators, promoting new Chinese fiction in translation. Read Paper Republic is a free online publication initiative for readers who wonder what new Chinese fiction in English translation has to offer and would like to dip a toe in the water. The first run of 53 stories, posted June 2015 to June 2016, are still available to read. You can download a full table of contents as a PDF here.
From June 2015 to June 2016, the Read Paper Republic team published a short story(or essay or poem) translated from Chinese, one a week for a year. For last year’s #WITmonth we published four pieces written by women and translated by women (nos 7-10). The rest of the time, we didn’t pay too much attention to the gender of the writer. So it’s cheering to see that over the entire year, of the 53 pieces we published, 22 were written by women. They are all available online – free to view here: https://paper-republic.org/pubs/read/. We’d like to thank all our authors and translators, and hope that you, the readers, enjoy the stories.
Also, in May 2016, we drew up a list for The Literary Hub, of 10 CHINESE WOMEN WHOSE WRITING SHOULD BE TRANSLATED: WRITING FROM MAINLAND CHINA, HONG KONG, AND TAIWAN. Read it here: http://lithub.com/10-chinese-women-whose-writing-should-be-translated/.
So, it’s rather gone by in a whirlwind, but we’ve reached the end of our first year of Read Paper Republic. Starting June 18 of last year, we’ve published 53 short pieces online, one each Thursday (there’s 53 weeks in a year, right?), and today’s publication of Li Jingrui’s One Day, One of the Screws Will Come Loose marks the end of what we’ve come to think of as “Read Paper Republic, Season One”.
We’re taking a short break! Nicky Harman, Helen Wang, Eric Abrahamsen and Dave Haysom have done a remarkable amount of work over the past year, and it’s time for a breather while we think about where to go from here.
Apropos of that, we have a request to make of you! We’ve created a very short online survey that we very much hope you’ll take a moment to fill out. It’s only a page, and will be invaluable to us as we look back over the past year of publications, and think about the future. Please take five minutes and help us fill it out!
So what will be next? We’re not sure yet. Over the next six months, we’re likely to make some more additions to the RPR lineup, probably based around events and author visits in various parts of the world. “Season One” was done with no funding whatsoever (thanks to all our editors, translators and authors!), and we’re very aware that we could make a hypothetical “Season Two” a lot better with a bit of support.
Got any good ideas for doing that? Please let us know in the survey!
“That Damned Thing She Said” Part of the Wanderlust series, at Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 3GA, Telephone: 020 7324 2570
on Monday 14 March, 18.45 – 20.45; Tickets £5/£3 from https://www.freewordcentre.com/events/detail/tdtss-china
With International Women’s Day (8 March) in mind, we have selected four short stories from China, focussing on hot issues such as sexual freedom, political disappearances, “left-over” women, compromising situations. Sign up and read the stories in advance, then come along for some speed-bookclubbing. Four experienced translators will lead four groups simultaneously. Discuss one story for 20 minutes, then move on to the next. Discuss the subject matter, the style, the writing, the authors (does it make a difference that two of the stories are written and translated by women, and the other two by men?). You’ll get a chance to ask any questions you like. But most of all, this is an interactive event: we want to hear what you think, which ones you liked (or not) and what intrigued or puzzled you.
Story 1: “That Damned Thing She Said” by FU Yuli, (Tr. Nicky Harman). A woman trapped in a loveless marriage has an awkward, but ultimately empowering, one-night stand.
Story 2: “Missing” by LI Jingrui (Tr. Helen Wang). A wife comes home to find her husband has disappeared, or rather “been disappeared”.
Story 3: “Mahjong” by FENG Tang (Tr. Brendan O’Kane). The colleagues of a career woman apply their engineering expertise to the intractable problem of finding her a worthy husband.
Story 4: “The One Who Picks Flowers” by LIU Qingbang (Tr. Lee Yew Leong). A young woman refuses to sleep with the boss, with catastrophic consequences to her family.
Visit the Free Word Centre website, Events page to download the stories in advance and to buy your ticket. Join Read Paper Republic translators to discuss the stories and the depiction of women in contemporary China at Free Word Centre on 14 March 2016.
READ PAPER REPUBLIC, an ambitious project committed to publishing one free-to-view short story (or poem or essay) a week for a year, June 2015 – June 2016. Follow us on
Facebook: Paper Republic. Twitter: @PaperRepublic
Wechat: PaperRepublic 微信号 : PaperRepublic
and on our website: http://paper-republic.org/pubs/read/
READ PAPER REPUBLIC, as some of you shortstop readers will know, is a project run by four of us on Paper-Republic.org, with the aim of raising the profile of contemporary Chinese literature. We’re publishing a short story (or essay or poem) every Thursday for a year, until June 2016, so that means we’re now at our half-way mark. Our aim has been to reach the general reader, to enable them to dip a toe in the water, so we have chosen as broad a range of stories as possible, something, we hope, to suit all tastes. You might like to read Chad Post’s review about us on his Three Percent blog on 11th December.
This week we’ve collaborated with Asymptote Journal and The Guardian newspaper: our story, “Venus”, by Taiwan’s queer writer Chen Xue, translated by Josh Stenberg, appeared simultaneously on Read Paper Republic and Asymptote (and, through Translation Tuesdays by Asymptote) in The Guardian newspaper). Asymptote have also run an interview with me about Read Paper Republic on their blog.
Our project is really gaining momentum, as more people hear about it. But don’t take my word for it. Go read the stories themselves, 27 now to choose from, free-to-view on https://paper-republic.org/pubs/read/. We’ve posted some great reads!