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April 2019: Liang Hong 梁鸿

Liang Hong was born in 1973 near Zhengzhou, Henan, in Liang Village. In 2003 she graduated from Beijing Normal University with a PhD in Chinese literature. She currently teaches Chinese literature as part of the creative writing department of Renmin University, with Yan Lianke and Zhang Yueran. In addition to her book-length interview with Yan Lianke, The Witch's Red Chopsticks (巫婆的红筷子, 2002), and two works of literary criticism, Notes from the Outlying Provinces: 20th Century Literature in Henan (外省笔记:20世纪河南文学, 2008) and Diminishing Halo: The Evolution of Narrative in Contemporary Chinese Literature (“灵光的消逝:当代文学叙事美学的嬗变, 2009), Liang Hong has also published two books of non-fiction about her hometown: China in Liang Village (中国在梁庄, 2010) and Leaving Liang Village (出梁庄记, 2013).

Bio from Paper Republic

This month we feature Liang Hong's short story, 'Rainbow's Boutique', translated by Dave Haysom and first published in Pathlight magazine in 2016. You can read the original story here in Chinese, and the English translation here.

Caihong passed row after gleaming row of shelves, running her hand absently across them and lingering on each product in turn for the briefest of nanoseconds. This was love; this was tender reassurance. The oily tang of Lux and Safeguard soap; the piquancy of Tide and the phosphorus bite of Diaopai; the brazenness of sulphur soap. Variations on the smell of clean. 

We were delighted that Liang Hong was able to join us in Leeds for an event in March on 'Narrating Rural China'.

You can also read her creative non-fiction article, 'A Fortune-Teller in a Modern Metropolis', as part of the Read Paper Republic series, translated by Michael Day.

It seems unbelievable, but Xian Yi is a fortune teller. I’ve never really shaken off the shock of it. I can’t quite convince myself that Xian Yi has taken up a folksy, out-of-its-time occupation rejected by the modern world.