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March/ April 2024: Lu Min 鲁敏

Lu Min was born in 1973 in Jiangsu Province to a teacher mother and engineer father and has been writing since she was 25. She won the prestigious Lu Xun Literary prize in 2009 and has received many other significant literary honours. Her novels include Multiple Love LettersThe Steering Wheel, and This Love Could Not be Delivered. Her 2022 novel, Dinner for Six, was translated into English by Nicky Harman and Helen Wang, and published by Balestier Press in 2022. It is a story of two single parents, their four teenaged children and their socially mismatched relationships, with themes of family life, growing up and lonely individuals coming together against the odds.


We're delighted to feature Lu Min on our bookclub for a second time (after featuring Dinner for Six in 2022). This time, we have an extract from the forthcoming English translation of her novel Golden River (金色河流, Yilin Press, 2022) translated by Nicky Harman and Jack Hargreaves. You can read the first two sections of chapter 1 both in Chinese and in English translation.

We were also very proud to help host Lu Min for the first event of her recent UK author residency, organised by the Oxford Brookes Confucius Institute. In collaboration with the Business Confucius Institute at the University of Leeds, we held an event on March 8th, with a fascinating talk by Lu Min (with interpretation by Jianan Zhang) about her work, followed by a translation masterclass facilitated by Nicky Harman, Helen Wang, and Professor Zhu Zhenwu, director of the Foreign Literature Research Center at Shanghai Normal University (and well known for his translations of Dan Brown’s novels into Chinese). It was really fascinating to have a go at translating passages from both Dinner for Six and Golden River, and there were enthusiastic discussions going on at every table! You can find out more about the event in this write-up from the Business Confucius Institute.

If you'd like to find out more about Lu Min and her writing, two of her pieces of writing were featured on Read Paper Republic, both translated by Helen Wang - 'Xie Bomao R.I.P', and 'A Second Pregnancy, 1980'.

And if you're interested in literary translation, and would like to learn more from two of Lu Min's translators, there's a great opportunity this summer, when Nicky Harman and Jack Hargreaves will be teaching Chinese-English translation at the Bristol Translates Summer School, which will be held online on 1st-5th July. The summer school has been running for a number of years now, and past attendees have found it a hugely rewarding experience!