Books and Literature

Books and Literature

‘The Rape of Nanking’ author celebrated with California park
Tucked into a corner of northern San Jose, California, near where she lived with her family, lies a small park full of modern sculptures celebrating the life of Iris Chang, a groundbreaking Chinese-American historian and author known for The Rape of Nanking, a bestselling book that brought a brutal period in Chinese history to Western attention. Chang, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, published the book in 1997 to instant acclaim. She would publish one more book – this one about Chinese-American history – before taking her own life in 2004 after struggling with mental illness. Her death at age 36 shocked her family and fans around the world and gave rise to many now-discredited conspira
‘The Rape of Nanking’ author celebrated with California park
Beijing expats mourn closure of beloved cafe and bookstore
For Beijing’s bookish English-speaking expatriate population, the Bookworm was more than a humble cafe full of reading material. It was a cultural destination, a place for live performances and a home away from home. But after being in business for nearly 20 years, its managers announced on Tuesday that the bookstore would close next week – to the shock of its current patrons and legions of former Beijingers around the world. “Despite our best efforts, we appear to have fallen prey to the ongoing cleanup of ‘illegal structures,’ and we have not been able to secure an extension of our lease,” said a statement on the Bookworm’s official WeChat account. “This is particularly disappointing give
Beijing expats mourn closure of beloved cafe and bookstore
4 facts about Can Xue, China’s foremost avant-garde writer
Tipped as a front runner for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Can Xue is one of a handful of Chinese avant-garde writers who have wowed international critics with their inventiveness. Susan Sontag was said to consider Can Xue the one Chinese writer worthy of the Nobel Prize. On Thursday, the Swedish Committee announced that the 2018 and 2019 prizes went to Peter Handke of Austria and the Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk. Ahead of the announcement, Can Xue said that it wasn't her time yet for the honor since her work had not yet reached mainstream readers, according to her publisher, Hunan Literature & Art Publishing House. Can Xue, a pen name that means “residual snow,” had been named by bookmake
4 facts about Can Xue, China’s foremost avant-garde writer
Literary award renamed after Hong Kong author calls out ‘fascist’ writer
A leading American literary magazine has dropped the name of the late sci-fi writer John W. Campbell from a major award after a Hong Kong author slammed him as a “fascist” while receiving the honor. “John W. Campbell, for whom this award was named, was a f**king fascist,” Hong Kong-born writer Jeannette Ng said in her acceptance speech in Dublin last Sunday. Through his control of the influential sci-fi magazine Astounding Science Fiction as editor, Ng said, Campbell was “responsible for setting a tone for science fiction that haunts the genre to this day. Stale. Sterile. Male. White,” 33-year-old Ng said.  Campbell launched the careers of some of the most notable names in sci-fi writing, in
Literary award renamed after Hong Kong author calls out ‘fascist’ writer
These sisters in rural China made a library from trash
The tiny, dimly-lit library had no bookshelves and hardly enough books to fill a cabinet. But for the children in the central Chinese province of Henan, it was a godsend. A pair of sisters built the mini-library in 2016 using books they salvaged from the trash they picked up in a township in Henan called Yangmiaoxiang, one of the poorest parts of China where families live on less than $1 a day. The story of hardship behind the library underscores the staggering inequality between China’s coastal cities and inland regions and the challenges Beijing faces as it seeks to eradicate poverty by 2020. “China’s education resources’ distribution is extremely uneven,” said a user of Weibo, China’s Tw
These sisters in rural China made a library from trash
4 things you need to know about literary giant Louis Cha
The Chinese-speaking world is mourning the death of literary giant Louis Cha, whose martial arts novels provided a touchstone for Asian people around the world. Cha, who wrote under the pen name of Jin Yong, died in Hong Kong on Tuesday at the age of 94. The celebrated author penned 15 martial arts novels throughout his lifetime, and is considered one of the most influential Chinese writers of the modern age. He is a household name in Asia, thanks to the many movies, TV dramas and video games inspired by his works. Would be remiss not to conclude w the Jin Yong 金庸 acrostic poem made of the 1st character in the title of each of his 14 works: 飛雪連天射白鹿 Whirling snow blankets the sky, I hunt whit
4 things you need to know about literary giant Louis Cha
New translation brings literary maestro Jin Yong to the West
Generations of Chinese readers have been captivated by the novels of Jin Yong. In stature and in style, he’s often compared to J.R.R. Tolkien. His 15 novels have sold at least 300 million copies combined, and are hailed as the “common language” of the Chinese-speaking world. While he’s a household name in Asia, his fame hasn’t spread to the West – not yet, at any rate.   But a new translation of his work might change all that. Jin, whose real name is Louis Cha, is considered the maestro of the wuxia genre, a form of martial arts-heavy fantasy literature set in historical China. His worlds are inhabited by heroes and villains well-versed in kung fu techniques like “18 Dragon-subduing Palms”
New translation brings literary maestro Jin Yong to the West