Chutzpah!: New Voices from China

Screen shot 2015-10-08 at 4.45.07 PMedited by Ou Ning and Austin Woerner
University of Oklahoma Press, 2015
Volume 4 in the Chinese Literature Today Book Series

These stories are drawn from the pages of Chutzpah!, one of China’s most innovative literary magazines. They range in setting from the suburbs of Nanjing to the mountains of Xinjiang Province, from London’s Chinatown to a universe seemingly sprung from a video game. In them, readers encounter a sweet, lonely fabric store owner, a lesbian house cleaner, a posse of shit-talking vo-tech students, a human hive-mind, a jeep-driving swordsman who reads Borges and Nabokov, and other assortments of bizarre humans and water spirits. (adapted from the publisher’s website)

Based in rural Anhui Province, Ou Ning is author of New Sound of Beijing. He served as editor-in-chief of Chutzpah! magazine from 2011 to 2014. Austin Woerner is the translator of Doubled Shadows: Selected Poetry of Ouyang Jianghe.

 

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New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry

91lnqiY2oxLedited by Ming Di
Tupelo Press, 2013

The most up-to-date anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry, translated by American poets and edited by the executive editor of the bilingual literary journal Poetry East West. Showcasing the achievement of Chinese poetry in the last twenty years, a time of tremendous literary ferment, this collection focuses on a diversity of exciting poets from the mainland, highlighting Duo Duo (laureate of the 2010 Neustadt International Prize for Literature) and Liao Yiwu (recipient of 2012 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade organization) along with not yet well-known but brilliant poets such as Zang Di and Xiao Kaiyu and younger poets Jiang Tao and Lü Yue. The anthology includes interviews with the poets and a fascinating survey of their opinions on “Ten Favorite Chinese poets” and “Ten Best-Known Western poets in China.”

“With its carefully-selected range of poets and choice of contents, New Cathay is an up-to-date and exciting take on Chinese contemporary poetry. …it stands on its own as a literary anthology of Chinese contemporary poets, and allows us to review the diversity of Chinese contemporary poetry in terms of poetic style and subject.” — Jennifer Wong, The Asian Review of Books

The Rose of Time: New & Selected Poems

51VajHwqrtLby Bei Dao
Edited by Eliot Weinberger
New Directions, 2010

The Rose of Time: New & Selected Poems is the newest collection from contemporary Chinese poet Bei Dao, spanning his entire writing career. Distinguished by humanist philosophies and experimental techniques, Bei Dao creates an alternative reality that can be sullen, bitter, and violent, yet also fertile and hopeful. His work attempts to understand the nature of identity, public and private afflictions, and human problems grounded in all modern societies. This bilingual edition includes a preface form the author and an afterward by the editor, Eliot Weinberger. (Publisher’s Description)

Bei Dao (born Zhao Zhenkai, 1949 in Beijing, China) founded the literary magazine Today (Jintian) along with Mank Ke. Bei Dao’s poems have been used as political anthems and humanistic tropes, most notably in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. His work has been translated into twenty-five langauges. Bei Dao is currently a Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong.

Wind Says

Wind Says- Bai Huaselected poems by Bai Hua
translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain
Zephyr Press, The Chinese University Press of Hong Kong,
and Brookline Mass | Hong Kong

Bai Hua  is a central literary figure of the post-Obscure (or post-“Misty”) poetry movement during the 1980s. Born in 1956 in Chongqing, he studied English literature at Guangzhou Foreign Language Institute before graduating with a Master’s degree in Western Literary History from Sichuan University. His first collection of poems, Expression (1988), received immediate critical acclaim.  Bai Hua’s poetic output is considerably modest but selective; in the past thirty years he has written only about ninety poems. After a decade-long silence, he began writing poetry again in 2007. That same year, his work garnered the prestigious Rougang Poetry Award. A prolific writer of critical prose and hybrid texts, Bai Hua is also a recipient of the Anne Kao Poetry Prize. Currently living in Chengdu, Sichuan, he teaches at the Southwest Jiaotong University.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s debut collection of poetry, Water the Moon, was published in 2010. In addition to her books of translation of Chinese poets from Zephyr Press, she has translated several contemporary French and American authors, and co-edited the Manoa anthology, Sky Lanterns (University of Hawai’i Press, 2012). An editor at Cerise Press and Vif éditions, she lives in Paris. (adapted from inside cover)

 

Winter Sun

by Shi Zhi
translated by Jonathan Stalling
University of Oklahoma Press, 2012.

By presenting Shi Zhi’s poems in chronological order, Winter Sun allows readers to appreciate the evolution of his poetry from his earliest work to his most recent poems. (Publisher’s Description)

Born as Guo Lusheng in 1948, at the height of the Chinese Civil War, Shi Zhi joined the People’s Liberation Army at the age of twenty-three. Discharged early, he entered into a period of severe depression and spent much of the next three decades living in mental hospitals under harsh conditions. Taking the pen name of Shi Zhi, meaning “index finger,” to evoke the image of people pointing at his back, he continued to write poetry throughout these tumultuous years.

Water Ghosts

by Shawna Yang Ryan
Penguin Books, 2010.

Locke, California, 1928. Three bedraggled Chinese women appear out of the mist in a small Chinese farming town on the Sacramento River. Two are unknown to its residents, while the third is the long-lost wife of Richard Fong, the handsome manager of the local gambling parlor. As the lives of the townspeople become inextricably intertwined with the newly arrived women, their frightening power is finally revealed.

An imagining of what happens when a Chinese ghost story comes true,Water Ghosts is a tale of human passions and mingling cultures. (Publisher’s description)

Shawna Yang Ryan was born in Sacramento, California.  Water Ghosts, originally published as Locke 1928, is her first book.  Ryan graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, then went on to receive an M.A. from the Creative Writing program at the University of California, Davis.  She is currently one of the  Distinguished Writers in Residence at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.  Click Here to read an interview with Shawna Yang Ryan on Water Ghosts.

Chinese Writers on Writing

Edited by Arthur Sze
Trinity University Press, 2010

With more than half the works appearing in English for the first time, Chinese Writers on Writing features authors such as Mo Yan, whose book Red Sorghum was made into an award-winning movie by the same name; Lu Xun, known as the Chinese George Orwell; and Gao Xingjian, recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature. Edited by award-winning poet Arthur Sze, this is the first collection that brings together material by writers reflecting on their work, their processes, and the challenges of writing under China’s political system. This is the fifth volume in the highly acclaimed Writer’s World Series.

Arthur Sze was a Visiting Hurst Professor at Washington University, a Doenges Visiting Artist at Mary Baldwin College and has conducted residencies at Brown University, Bard College, and Naropa University. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and is the first poet laureate of Santa Fe.