Translated Chinese Fiction

Mo Yan’s translator on his novella Radish

An episode of the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast

“As the boy's thoughts wandered, the purple and green leaves turned into autumn well water, and then the jute became water, while sparrows skimming the tips of the jute plants were transformed into green kingfishers snapping up tiny shrimp from the water's surface.”

In this episode of the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, Angus Stewart is joined by translator Lehyla Heward to discuss Mo Yan's novella Radish (透明的红萝卜 Tòumíngde Hóngluóbo). Mo Yan is, of course, a Nobel-winning novelist, author of The Garlic Ballads and Red Sorghum. Read more about his background and career in the long translated essay we published at the China Channel last year. Radish, like much of Mo’s work, is set in Cultural Revolution-era rural China, where a countryside work team is joined by the strange, silent protagonist Hei-hai, who seems indifferent to pain and has an affinity for the titular root. 

 

Translated Chinese Fiction

Jin Yong’s translator on martial arts novels

An episode of the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast

“We Han Chinese outnumber the Jurchen by more than a hundred to one. If the Imperial Court decided to employ honest and loyal men, our great Empire would prevail. With one hundred of our men against one of their worthless soldiers, how could the Jin army win?”

In this syndicated episode of the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, host Angus Stewart and translator Gigi Chang discuss the literary merit and cultural impact of Legend of the Condor Heroes, the series of wuxia (martial arts) novels by grandmaster Jin Yong, or Louis China, who died in 2018. The Condor Heroes series is a magnum opus in Chinese literature – both highbrow and lowbrow – and pop culture in general. In this, the first episode of the podcast's wuxia season, Angus and Gigi get to grips with this behemoth of genre fiction. The first of the novels, Legend of the Condor Heroes: A Hero Born is already out in English (translated by Anna Holmwood), and at the China Channel we both reviewed and excerpted it. The second novel published in English, A Bond Undone, was translated by Gigi Chang:

 

Translated Chinese Fiction

Chen Qiufan on his cli-fi novel Waste Tide

An episode of the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast

At the China Channel we’re delighted to be syndicating a short run from a new(ish) podcast we’ve been listened to, the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast. Hosted by Angus Stewart, the show covers a wide range of Chinese literature, from Sanmao’s Sahara to Wang Shuo’s “hooligan” literature. It first came to our attention with a series on Chinese sci-fi, so we’re kicking things off with the episode on Chen Qiufan’s cli-fi novel Waste Tide (荒潮 huāngcháo), translated by Ken Liu published in English last spring. Chen – whose short story Smog Society was published on this site – joins Angus to explain the context of his environmental dystopia, China’s e-waste crisis, and how he approaches writing science fiction based on an equally strange and distressing reality. (Plus for further listening, the podcast’s sci-fi series also includes an episode on a Fei Dao story translated by Alec Ash, also on the site, here.)