Writing Chinese

December: Xu Zechen 徐则臣

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Xu Zechen is among the very best upcoming young writers in China, widely tipped as a literary star of the future. He published his first stories as a graduate student while studying at the country’s most prestigious department of Chinese at Peking University. He has since gone on to publish three novels and countless short stories with the best publishers and magazines in the country. He holds the prestigious position of editor at People’s Literature magazine, and has won a slew of top awards, including being selected among the People’s Literature “Future 20” in 2011, in which critics, journalists and leading figures from the publishing industry voted for the twenty best writers under 41. He has been receiving increasing international attention with invitations to Germany, the Netherlands and Norway as part of various international writing events, and was selected for the Iowa International Writer’s Program in 2010. Xu has had short stories published in The Guardian, Words Without Borders and Comma Press’ collection of Chinese short stories Shi Cheng: Short Stories from Urban China.

(Bio from the Andrew Nurnberg Associates Literary Agency)

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This month we’re lucky enough to have two stories, with two fantastic translations by Helen Wang and Eric Abrahamsen. ‘Galloping Horses’ 奔马 was originally published in the Guardian newspaper in 2012, and ‘Wheels are Round’ was published in Shi Cheng: Tales from Urban China, by Comma Press, in 2012. Thank you to the translators, and to Richard Lea at the Guardian and Ra Page at Comma Press for giving us permission to reprint the stories here.

Audio recordings this month have very kindly been provided by network members Wu Daming, Polly Xinyang, David Webster and Scott Major. Thanks to all.

You can find the stories on the left of this page. Please enjoy, and don’t forget to head over to our forum to leave a comment!

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