The Art of the Short Story
Friday May 15, 2015
Two modern masters of Chinese fiction explored the short story form from very different angles. Di An, emerging from the world of online genre fiction, writes strange tales tinged with surrealiy, and Qin Wenjun's stories for children and adults reach for the purity of younger years. The event was moderated by Jeremy Tiang.
Qin Wenjun is one of the most iconic writers of contemporary children's literature in China. While drawing on deep Chinese traditions, she has also laid new foundations for young readers, opening up new artistic space for the creation of children's literature in contemporary China. She is currently a member of the National Committee of China Writers Association, Vice President of Shanghai Writers Association, President of Shanghai Sino-Japanese Children's Literature and Art Exchange Association, and President of the Shanghai Children's Books Promotion Association. Her best-known works include the novels, The Complete Story of Jia Li, The Complete Story of Jia Mei, The Mind of a Girl, 3 Tian Tang Street, Baby Alone, Days of Tricks, Taotao Series, The Girl Lin Xiao-mei, The Little Xianggu Series, The Dancing Sunflower, and Girl at Sixteen. In 1996, she won a Special Award of the Premio Letterario Internazionale Mondello. In 2002, she was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award, by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) in Switzerland. Her translated books in English include, 3 Tian Tang Street, Curly the Black Goat, Hoopy the White Goat, and Smiling Kalakela published by the Long River Press.
Born 1983 in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, Di An is the daughter of two well-known authors, Li Rui and Jiang Yun. She has an M.A. in Sociology from the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris, and is signed to Shanghai’s Zuibook. She started writing in 2002, with her first work Sister’s Forest appearing in Harvest magazine. Later works have been published in Harvest, People’s Literature and other literary magazines. In 2005 she published her first novel, Farewell to Heaven. In October 2008 her short story Yuanji won a China Novel Biennale prize. In 2009 she became a best-selling author when the novel City of the Dragon I sold over 700,000 copies. In 2010 City of the Dragon II was published, while City of the Dragon I earned her a most promising newcomer award at the Chinese Literature Media awards. She currently edits the bimonthly magazine ZUI Found.
Her story, Williams' Tomb, translated by Alice Xin Liu appeared in Pathlight: New Chinese Writing 1 (2011).
Jeremy Tiang has translated seven books from Chinese, including work by Yu Qiuyu, Zhang Yueran and Su Wei-chen, and was recently awarded a PEN/ Heim Translation Grant. Shorter work has appeared in Asymptote, Two Lines and the Iowa Review. He also writes and translates plays—most recently an adaptation of A Dream of Red Pavilions (Hong Lou Meng), to be performed off-Broadway by Pan Asian Repertory Theater in 2016.