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Chinese Crime Fiction from Around the World: Roundtable

Friday 12 May 2023, 4pm-6pm
Maurice Keyworth Seminar Room 1.09, Leeds University Business School

We're delighted to be joined by international scholars, translators, and authors to discuss their work and ideas on Chinese crime fiction. We'll be placing contemporary works from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and elsewhere in an international context, and welcome ideas and discussion!

The event will begin with an introduction from Professor David Platten, co-author of Crime Fiction in the Global Era, on transnational crime fiction, then each of the speakers will discuss their work, with plenty of opportunity for questions afterwards.

Tea and coffee will be available from 3.45, and the event will begin at 4pm.

Free and open to all, but please reserve a place on our Eventbrite page.

Chair: Professor David Platten

David Platten is Professor of Modern French Studies at the University of Leeds and author of numerous studies of francophone and anglophone crime fiction, world crime fiction in translation, and true crime, including The Pleasures of Crime: Readings in French Crime Fiction (2011). He is currently working on a book provisionally entitled The Ghost of Camus, which examines the resonance in today’s world of one of the most influential voices of twentieth-century world literature.


Michelle Deeter

Michelle Deeter is a freelance translator based in Manchester, England. Her translations include Beijing, Beijing by Feng Tang, The Untouched Crime and Bad Kids by Chen Zijin, and The Heart of Deep Blue by TJ Lei. She also co-translated Paper Tiger, a non-fiction collection of essays, with Nicky Harman. She holds a BA in International Relations from Carleton College (USA) and an MA in Translation and Interpreting from Newcastle University (UK) and is an Associate Lecturer at Newcastle University. 

Professor Jeffrey Kinkley

Jeffrey C. Kinkley is Emeritus Professor of History at St. John’s University, Queens, New York City, currently holding honorary posts as Courtesy Professor of History and of World Languages and Literatures at Portland State University, Portland, Oregon. He is an intellectual historian and his major monographs to date concern Shen Congwen, twentieth-century Chinese crime fiction, China’s popular “anti-corruption novels” of 1995-2002, and China’s 1990s avant-garde historical novels by Mo Yan, Su Tong, et al. He has translated fiction by Shen Congwen and contemporary Chinese writers, and managed translations of the memoirs of Xiao Qian and Chen Xuezhao. His latest monograph (to be published later this year by Hawaii University Press) is entitled China Mysteries: Crime Novels from China's Others, and focuses on ‘China Crime’ from around the world.

Li Beixi

Li Beixi is a PhD researcher at Bristol University. Her project explores how contemporary Chinese crime fiction is translated and received in the Anglophone world, using Genette's theoretical framework on paratext to investigate peritexts such as book covers, titles, and blurbs, as well as epitexts such as book reviews. Analysing book reviews on Goodreads and conducting in-depth focus groups, she aims to gain insights into how English readers respond to these translated crime works. The study aims to indicate how paratextual elements act as mediators between the source and the target text, and how the Chinese crime novel is positioned and received by the Anglophone readership.

Qiu Xiaolong

Anthony Award winning author Qiu Xiaolong was born in Shanghai and moved to Washington University in St Louis, US, to complete a PhD degree in comparative literature. After the Tiananmen tragedy in 1989 he stayed on in St Louis where he still lives with his wife. Qiu’s sold over two million copies of his Inspector Chen mysteries worldwide and been published in twenty languages. On top of his fiction, he is a prize-winning writer of poetry. All the titles in the Inspector Chen series, including Hold Your Breath, China, have been dramatized in BBC Radio 4 productions. His new Inspector Chen novel Love and Murder in the Time of Covid is released soon from Severn House.

Jeremy Tiang

Jeremy Tiang (he/ they) is a novelist, playwright and literary translator. They have translated over twenty books from across the Chinese-speaking world, including novels by Yeng Pway Ngon, Yan Ge, Lo Yi-Chin, Liu Xinwu and Zhang Yueran. Most recently, their translation of Zou Jingzhi’s Ninth Building was longlisted for the International Booker Prize 2023. Their plays include Salesman之死 and A Dream of Red Pavilions, and translations of plays by Chen Si’an and Wei Yu-Chia. Their novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018, and their short story collection It Never Rains on National Day was shortlisted for the same prize. They are the co-editor with Dr. Kavita Bhanot of Violent Phenomena: 21 Essays on Translation. In 2022, Tiang was the Princeton University Translator-in-Residence and an International Booker Prize judge. They are currently a judge for the National Book Award (Translated Literature). Originally from Singapore, they now live in Flushing, Queens.

Zhang Yueran

Zhang Yueran is one of China’s most influential young writers. Her novel Cocoon has sold more than 120,000 copies in China and has been translated into several languages. In France it was nominated for the Best Foreign Book Prize 2019 and won the Best Asian Novel of the Prix Transfuge 2019. Zhang has been chief editor of Newwriting since 2008 and teaches literature and creative writing at Renmin University in China. She was chosen by Asymptote as one of 20 Sinophone writers under 40 to look out for. Cocoon, translated into English by Jeremy Tiang, was voted one of the New Yorker’s Best Books of 2022.