My short story “The 27 Club” has been published at Fiction on the Web.
“They say there are two types of lyricist, those who write while overlooking a phosphorescent ocean, and those who write while staring at a blank wall. I always saw myself as one of the former, but that night, as I crouched over the windowsill scribbling in the notepad where I wrote all of my completed lyrics, the neon Shenzhen skyline refused to shine behind the evening shower…” You can read the rest here.
My short story “Li Lei’s Big Escape” has been published by Collective Unrest. It is inspired by a news story I translated in 2013. The central character’s backstory is borrowed/stolen from a chapter in Xinran’s “The Good Women of China“. The premise also comes from “Mr Loveday’s Little Outing” by Evelyn Waugh.
My Q & A with author and translator Christine Ni has been published in LA Review of Books China Channel
My review of “The Invisible Valley”, a novel by Su Wei translated by Austin Woerner, has been published by The LA Review of Books China Channel
In a 1983 lecture at the National Word Festival in Canberra, fantasy author Alan Garner explained the importance of childhood in making someone a writer1. He recalled his own early years in England during World War II, living life on a mythic plane of absolute good against absolute evil, with survival feeling like a daily struggle. Garner claimed that this seeped into the psyches of his generation and subsequently, its writers’ work, which was profound where the literature of later generations, he argued, was trivial and effete by comparison.
At the Macao Literary Festival in 2018, translator Austin Woerner – whom I first met at a literary translation boot camp in Huangshan in 2014 – explained that his early ambition was to be a novelist, but his comfortable, suburban, American upbringing was not great fodder. Fortunately, for lovers of genre-bending, constantly surprising, and occasionally-hilarious fiction, when studying Chinese at Yale, he met Professor Su Wei.