"In my experience of writing – and of life – the frenzy of dreams and that of form always go together." Iosi Havilio
Posts tagged "China"
Never happier

Never happier

When I first came across Jia Pingwa’s Gaoxing (高兴: Happy) in 2007, I felt an immediate empathy with this handful of migrant workers collecting the trash of a sprawling Chinese metropolis, and being treated like trash too. In the novel, now published as Happy Dreams, Happy Liu and his fellow villager Wufu arrive in Xi’an...
It must be love

It must be love

I sat Yichun on a park bench while I hunkered down to crack the walnuts with a stone. Her face was the same color as the flowers nearby, and I went into a sort of trance as I bashed away. One must have had a mind of its own because, after I struck it, it...
Jonathan Tel: The great and the small

Jonathan Tel: The great and the small

Jonathan Tel has won the 2016 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award for ‘The Human Phonograph’, in which a woman is reunited with her geologist husband at a remote Chinese nuclear base in Qinghai in the early years of the Cultural Revolution. It’s a flashback moment in a series of interlinked stories that make up...
Sarah Howe: Remaking memory

Sarah Howe: Remaking memory

On 10 December 2015, Hong Kong-born British poet Sarah Howe was awarded the revived Sunday Times/Peters, Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year award for her remarkable debut collection Loop of Jade. Also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and in the running for the T.S. Eliot Prize to be announced...
Dogs both big and small

Dogs both big and small

Novels are weighty tomes. Short stories fill a few pages. When we pick up a novel that’s as thick as a brick, or open the first book of a series whose volumes might reach our waist if stacked on the floor, we tremble with awe. Compared to a novel, a short story seems as inconsequential...
A view of the hills

A view of the hills

The Mayor read a letter. It had been written by a student named Yangyang in Class Two of the third grade at Green Primary School. The full text is as follows: Dear Uncle Mayor, How do you do? I have two things to tell you. One is good and the other is bad. First the...
Jörg Tittel and John Aggs: Taking the Mickey

Jörg Tittel and John Aggs: Taking the Mickey

In May, we ran some pages from Jörg Tittel and John Aggs’ shoot-em-up theme park satire Ricky Rouse Has a Gun, then available only in a limited-run special edition hardback. As the paperback is launched, I catch up with the pair – and a stranger in a giant mouse suit. What was the initial spark...
Ricky Rouse Has a Gun

Ricky Rouse Has a Gun

Rick Rouse is a US Army deserter who, after running away to China, gets a job at Fengxian Amusement Park – a family destination ‘inspired’ by Western culture, featuring Rambi (the deer with a red headband), Ratman (the caped crusader with a rat’s tail), Bumbo (small ears and a big behind) and other original characters....
Landscape in winter

Landscape in winter

The times are turning bad again. I have been arrested for going to see a private art collection. Can you believe it? An old man of nearly eighty, a retired magistrate, is put in prison on suspicion. Instead of sitting on a dais giving judgment, here I am sitting on a stone floor waiting to...
Yiyun Li's multiple moments

Yiyun Li’s multiple moments

Yiyun Li’s latest novel was inspired by a real-life poisoning case in China in 1995, in which a 19-year-old student was paralysed and severely disabled, but did not die. The culprit was never discovered, but suspicion still falls on a roommate from a well-connected family who subsequently fled to America. The slow poisoning in Kinder...