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Untranslated Writers - Recommendations, please


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There has been a bit of a problem in my graduate department back home, and it seems that if I am not taking classes while abroad, I am going to get the boot. Luckily my professors have stepped up and agreed to let me take independent study courses. I'd like to do some translations for now, research for next semester.

I'd like to get some recommendations for modern writers who haven't been translated into English. My general field of study is fiction, and I focus on abnormal character types, manifestations of mental illness, things along that line, but the area isn't really developed... so I have a bit of free reign. One of my roommates is in the same program and needs recommendations as well, and she hasn't chosen an area yet, so really, we'd just like all of your suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

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Tomorrow (saturday) is the last day of the Beijing International Bookfair at the International Exhibition Centre. RMB 20 to get in. Chinese publishers are trying to sell book rights to their foreign counterparts and, at the service centre on the ground floor, have produced a book in English, listing the key ones they they would like to sell together with a summary of the text. Might be a starting point?

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Wow, someone else who's heard of Li Shijiang! I've asked loads of Chinese friends if they've heard of him but without much success. Maybe i'm asking the wrong people.

I've read his 《畜牲级男人》 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Part of the reason I liked it was because i didn't feel he was trying to teach me anything. I get really fed up with a lot of short stories and 散文 that seem to be trying to make some profound point about 人生的道理 and how to be a good person etc etc

Li's style is quite vulgar. He often talks about his toilet habits and when he invites a girl back to his flat, he notes that his room is tidy "apart from a pair of semen-encrusted underpants poking out from under the bed".

His language is easy to understand, but seems quite original and creative. For example, he describes his horrible boss's delight by saying he looks “高兴得屎滚尿流”(normally this chengyu is used to describe fear).

I like the way the book brings home all the little annoyances and absurdities of daily Chinese life. There is a classic scene in the book involving a confrontation with his busybody neighbour, though i won't spoil it for everyone.

Although i haven't read much of his other work, i think it would be a challenge to translate because his lifestyle is quite rooted in modern Chinese culture.

I'm not sure whether he would fit in with your interest in abnormal character types or not. He seems like quite a normal person, but as a character in Chinese literature he might be quite unusual.

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Even though he's a mainlander, 李师江 is more published in Taiwan than in the mainland, probably because of his frank description of sex. I discovered him when browsing through a Taipei bookstore. Wang Xiaobo was first published in Taiwan, too. So perhaps 李师江 will become more accepted in the mainland in the years to come.

The singer Cui Jian and novelist Wang Shuo already consider him to be one of their most favorite writers.



He also has a blog. It's alright, mostly just random personal musings.


This is pretty funny. It's a little like Charles Bukowski.


《她们都挺棒的》 文 / 李师江


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