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July 2020: Deng Anqing 邓安庆

Deng Anqing was born in 1984 and hails from Wuxue in Hubei province. After studying Chinese Literature in college, he lived in several cities and worked in various jobs. His essay collections include Kingdom on Paper, A Soft Distance, and Candies in the Mountain. He is also the author of two short story collections, I Met a Somali Pirate and A Star at the End of the Sky, and a novel, Wanghua Town.

Bio from Literary Hub

This July we're delighted to feature Deng Anqing as our author of the month. This is a particularly special feature, as Deng kindly provided us with the text for our 'Give-it-a-Go translation' project with Paper Republic. This project started with the thought that, with events cancelled and everyone locked down at home, this was an opportunity for anyone who'd always wanted to have a shot at literary translation to just 'give it a go'. So, together with the wonderful Paper Republic we offered a piece by Deng - about spending lockdown with his parents - as an ideal text for first time translators, and within the 10 day deadline we had a total of 124 submissions from 20 countries and 5 continents!

The Paper Republic team then scrambled into technical competence, setting up four Zoom translation workshops in three different time zones, with the goal of producing a final collaborative text (and in the process perhaps running the biggest workshop-based co-translation effort ever!).

The Paper Republic translators were Eric AbrahamsenNicky HarmanEmily JonesYvette Zhu and Jack Hargreaves, and they've produced a video about the process, which you can view here.

You can also find a full list of those who contributed to the collaborative translation effort here.

And finally, you can read Deng Anqing's original Chinese text here, as well as the completed collaborative translation, titled 'Forty Days: Growing Closer to My Parents During Quarantine.'

The translation was first published as part of Read Paper Republic's 'Epidemic' series, so thank you to them for letting us reprint it here!

Here's translator Nicky Harmon talking about the project, on the Asian Books Blog.

And if you'd like to read more, there's another extract from Deng Anqing's online journal on Literary Hub, translated by Na Zhong.