28 April 09 | Chad W. Post

Thanks—in a somewhat roundabout way—to Arts Council England funding, I had the chance to meet with Eric Abrahamsen and Nikki Harman from Paper Republic at the London Book Fair. Paper Republic is one of the best online sources for information about Chinese literature, especially thanks to resources such as their lists of books to (re)translated.

A relatively new feature, the site now offers three short lists: Five Books in Need of Retranslation,, Five Best Untranslated Books of the Past Five Years, and Five Best Untranslated Books of the Past Fifty Years.

They’re still in the process of adding information about each of these fifteen books and authors, and, in some cases, even making sample translations available. You can visit the links above to see the complete lists, but here are a couple titles that caught my eye:

  • Truth and Variations by Li Er: “Equal parts literary achievement and editorial tour de force, Hua Qiang (Truth and Variations) is comprised of faux-historical documents, invented archival materials and pseudo-interviews spanning the Communist Revolution, Cultural Revolution and present day.” (From the Best Five Books from the Past Fifty Years.)
  • Happy by Jia Pingwa: Not described on Paper Republic, but Nicky Harman’s very promising sample translation appeared in The Guardian some time back. (The Five Best Untranslated Books of the Past Five Years.)

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