Two Years of the China Channel

We’re delighted to have reached two years since we launched the China Channel on September 25th – Lu Xun’s birthday, in celebration of his iconoclastic spirit – in 2017. Since then, we’ve published 435 stories, bringing you essays, translations, photography and fiction on Chinese society, culture, history, politics and more. To celebrate that and look forward to the future, we’ve collected a dozen of our best or most read posts from last year, listed below.

We’re still working on securing funding for the next calendar year, and give thanks to everyone who is supporting our translations on Patreon. (And if there are any generous souls who want to support at a higher level, do feel free to reach out directly). In the meantime, we’re committed to bringing you two to three quality posts each week, filling in the white spaces of China coverage. Do follow us on email or social media to keep up to date. Thanks for reading. – The Editors


Support new Chinese translations on Patreon

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A quick note from us at the China Channel, about a new translation project we're looking to start. Right now, China is going through a nonfiction golden age. Every day, essays, articles, narrative nonfiction and personal memoir is published that puts the world's fastest rising country in a new perspective – told by the voices that are creating China's story, not by foreign observers or anyone else writing in English. Right now, those valuable voices are only read by Chinese speakers but are lost to readers abroad, who are only getting a partial view of one of the most important nations in the world.

We want to change that. If you support our new Patreon drive, from as little as $1 a month, we will be able to start commissioning new translations from Chinese, to widen your horizon. That means everything from migrant memoir to Chinese #metoo reflections, from literary criticism to political screed, selected in partnership with Tabitha Speelman's Changpian newsletter. Good translation takes time, effort and money, but we aim to publish a new translation every month if we hit just $300 in monthly funding. However little you give, from $1 to $10 or more, will help bring material that would otherwise remain inaccessible onto your reading list.


Welcome to the LARB China Channel

The birthday of a writer and a magazine

On September 25, 1881, a baby boy called Zhou Shuren was born into a Confucian household in Shaoxing, a postcard-perfect town south of Shanghai known for its canals and its rice wine. His father was a scholar and his grandfather was an official in the dynastial government in Beijing. It was a large house, with wooden furniture, a fish pond and no shortage of classic books and calligraphy scrolls. But his father was ill and the family fell on hard times, compounded when grandfather was imprisoned for allegedly taking bribes. In the early years of the twentieth century Zhou Shuren studied medicine in Japan on a Qing government scholarship, but decided that he wanted to heal China instead. He started to write essays and stories, fiery and critical, and took a pen name: Lu Xun.