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November/ December 2022: Lu Min 鲁敏

Lu Min was born in Jiangsu, China. She has received numerous awards in China including, in 2009, the highly prestigious Lu Xun Literary Prize. Her novel This Love Could Not be Delivered has been translated into English, as have several of her short stories and essays, including ‘Paradise Temple’, ‘Hidden Diseases’, ‘Xie Bomao R.I.P.’, and ‘The Banquet’.

Bio from Balestier Press

For our final Bookclub author of 2022, we're delighted to feature Lu Min, with an extract from her novel Dinner for Six, translated by Nicky Harman and Helen Wang, and published at the end of November by Balestier Press. You can read the excerpt in Chinese, and in Nicky and Helen's English translation.

Under the stench of factory skies, two single parents and their four teenaged children gather together for Saturday dinners. But can widowed accountant Su Qin ever publicly acknowledge her socially-mismatched relationship with Ding Bogang, a laid-off manual worker? Can she bear to see her ambitious and studious daughter form a romantic connection with his son? Can her obese son create the perfect family he craves? Will Ding Bogang’s silly married daughter ever get pregnant?

In a story about growing up and the complications of family life, two generations of lonely individuals come together against the odds, learning to love as they traverse the long and arduous journey of life.

If you'd like to read more of Lu Min's work, two of her pieces featured in Read Paper Republic in 2015, translated by Helen Wang - you can find them both on our Read Paper Republic story hub. One, 'A Second Pregnancy, 1980' (1980 年的第二胎) is a non-fiction piece based on Lu Min's own family. The other is a short story, 'Xie Bomao R.I.P.' (谢伯茂之死).

You can also read the stories 'Scissors Shining' (风月剪)  and 'Song of Parting' (离歌), both translated by Michael Day.

And if you want to hear her talking about her work, here's a short video from the 2020 EU-China International Literary Festival.

We're also very happy to be featuring Dinner for Six on our Book Review Network very soon, so check back to see what our reviewers think!