Eric Abrahamsen is a translator and promoter of Chinese literature in English. He runs Paper Republic, which provides information about and publications of translated Chinese fiction and poetry, and works with publishers inside and outside of China to create publishing connections. His most recent translation is Xu Zechen’s Running Through Beijing, published by Two Lines Press, and he’s currently translating Wang Xiaobo. He recently moved back to Seattle, Washington, after 15 years in China.
Natascha Bruce is a translator from the UK, currently living in Hong Kong. She’s translated stories by writers including Dorothy Tse, Xu Xiaobin, and Wen Zhen for places such as Pathlight, PEN Atlas, and BooksActually’s Gold Standard (Math Paper Press, 2016). She was joint-winner of the 2015 Bai Meigui Award and the recipient of ALTA’s 2016 Emerging Translator Mentorship for a Singaporean language. At the moment, she’s working on Lonely Face, a novel by Yeng Pway Ngon (Balestier Press, 2017).
Mu Cao was born in 1974 and has published five collections of poetry, largely while working in jobs at the lowest rung of society. He is one of the few openly gay poets living and writing in China, and as such, he is necessarily branded as a kind of dissident, or at the very least, as an outsider. Much of his poetry is dark and expressive of the tense situation in which he finds himself living. The poems featured here are the first of his to be translated into English.
Li Chengpeng is, without a doubt, China’s best-known blogger and dissident reporter. His Sina.com blog and his Weibo account each had tens of millions of followers before being closed by the government. Li originally made his name by reporting on widespread graft and competition fraud in China’s soccer scene in the 2000s; later, he began writing polemical pieces on sensitive, covered-up disasters like the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the high-speed rail crash of 2011. His most famous blog posts have been collected in a book called The Whole World Knows, which earned him national attention and further government censorship.
Jennifer Feeley is the co-editor of Simultaneous Worlds: Global Science Fiction Cinema (University of Minnesota Press, 2015) and translator of Not Written Words: Selected Poetry of Xi Xi (Zephyr Press and MCCM Creations, 2016), which World Literature Today named one of the 75 notable translations of 2016. Her publications have appeared or are forthcoming in FIELD, Epiphany, Tinfish, The Taipei Chinese PEN, Pathlight, Chinese Writers on Writing, Journal of Chinese Cinemas, and Creating Across Cultures: Women in the Arts from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, among others. She holds a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures from Yale University.
Eleanor Goodman is the author of the poetry collection Nine Dragon Island (2016), and the translator of Something Crosses My Mind: Selected Poems of Wang Xiaoni (2014), Iron Moon: An Anthology of Chinese Workers Poetry (2017), and Days When I Hide My Corpse in a Cardboard Box: Selected Poems of Natalia Chan (2017).
Dave Haysom is a translator of contemporary Chinese literature and has been joint managing editor of Pathlight magazine since 2014. He helped launch the “Read Paper Republic” project in 2015, a yearlong initiative to publish an online translation every week, and has also contributed essays and reviews of Chinese writing to publications including Words Without Borders and Granta.
Liang Hong is originally from Liang Village in Henan Province. Her books include An Outsider’s Notebook: Henan Literature in the 20th Century and China in Liang Village, which received the People’s Literature Award 2010 and was listed as a top-ten book in New Wave and The Beijing News. Her 2016 book Leaving Liang Village, from which these extracts are taken, tells the story of migrant workers within China. Liang Hong is currently on the faculty of the Chinese Department of the China Youth University of Political Studies in Beijing.
Andrea Lingenfelter is the translator of Farewell My Concubine by Lilian Lee, Candy by Mian Mian, The Changing Room: Selected Poetry of Zhai Yongming (2012 Northern California Book Award winner), and The Kite Family by Hon Lai Chu (NEA Translation Fellowship awardee). She is currently translating Wang Anyi’s multigenerational historical novel Scent of Heaven, and her translation of Wang’s novella “The Sanctimonious Cobbler” was published in 2016 (University of Oklahoma Press). Future plans include a 2018 residency at the Vermont Studio Center with Hong Kong-based poet Cao Shuying. She currently teaches translation and Chinese literature at USF and is affiliated with Mills College’s MFA in Translation program.
Chi Lingyun uses her position as a news editor in Wenzhou to gather material and inspiration for her poetry. Well-known for her active poetry blog, much of her work directly confronts the political and emotional reality contemporary Chinese citizens face. There is also an understated feminist theme running through her work, which expresses itself in a variety of potent ways. With the exception of one feature in Chinese Literature Today, Chi Linyun is largely unknown in the English-speaking world.
Ken Liu is an author and translator of speculative fiction, as well as a lawyer and programmer. A winner of the Nebula, Hugo, and World Fantasy awards, he has published a series of epic fantasy inspired by Chinese history (The Grace of Kings and The Wall of Storms), as well as a collection of short stories, The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories. He’s also the translator for Liu Cixin’s The Three-Body Problem, the first translated novel to win the Hugo.
Canaan Morse is a translator, poet, and editor. His poems and translations have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Baffler, Chinese Literature Today, and several other places. His translation of Ge Fei’s novel The Invisibility Cloak was published in 2016 as part of the New York Review of Books Classics Series. He is currently translating poetry by Yang Xiaobin, while pursuing a PhD in Chinese literature at Harvard University.
Han Song is a science fiction writer and a journalist at Xinhua, China’s state-owned news agency. As a writing professional whose job forces him to observe much and say little, Han Song has long turned to science fiction as an outlet for creative expression. The rise of science fiction’s reputation in China has put Han Song’s name at the top of many sci-fi reading lists, and several of his stories have been translated into foreign languages.
Jeremy Tiang has translated more than ten books from Chinese, including novels by Zhang Yueran, Chan Ho-Kei, and Yeng Pway Ngon, and has been awarded a PEN/Heim Grant and NEA Literary Translation Fellowship. He also writes and translates plays. Jeremy’s short story collection It Never Rains on National Day was shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize.
Sheng Tie is a young author living in Beijing. A member of the independent, avant-garde literary group Black and Blue, Shen Tie writes in a playful, satirical prose that intentionally subverts conventions of narrative fiction established and upheld by China’s government-supported literary establishment He loves parody and frequently weaves several parodic styles into his work. His book of short stories, Scout You’re in Love’s Wilderness, remains untranslated.
Another very young member of the Black and Blue group, Gu Xiang, is an emerging surrealist writer. The youngest protégé of Chen Wei, Black and Blue’s fiercely independent founder, Gu Xiang currently focuses on short stories and novels. “The Cat” is her first piece to be translated.
Wang Xiaoni is a well-known Chinese poet, author, and educator. Though made famous initially by her poetry, Wang Xiaoni has also authored collections of short stories as well as nonfiction anecdotes and academic articles on higher education in China. Her two-volume collection Class Notes, from which these essays are excerpted, exhibits her literary voice at its best—sensitive and compassionate, yet incisive and utterly fearless. Wang’s collection of poems, Something Crosses My Mind, translated by Eleanor Goodman, won the Lucien Stryk Prize for Translation and was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize.
Currently a professor at the Shanghai Academy of Fine Art, Qiu Zhijie is a contemporary artist and curator who works in film, photography, and other visual media. His work explores themes like the struggle between fate and self-determination, as well as transience and social fragmentation. His “conceptual maps,” perhaps the most famous of his paintings, have been featured all over the world, including most recently at the Berkeley Art Museum in California.