Posts Categorized: Modern Fiction

Liberia By Way of Beijing: The Appeal of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in Late Qing China

So here’s a question for you: why was one of the most popular books in the late Qing Dynasty (1895-1911) a translation of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin? Lee and Rob attempt to answer this question, and along the way discuss matters of representation and legal rights in America and China.

Conversations with Nick Stember on Jia Pingwa’s Ugly Stone

We had the honor recently of talking with Nick Stember, a longtime translator of Chinese fiction and comics, and the official English-language translator of the renowned writer Jia Pingwa. On this podcast, we talk with Nick about his work, and about the intriguing Jia Pingwa short story “The Ugly Stone.” If you are interested…read more

Zhang Ailing’s Love in a Fallen City

In this podcast we discuss the writer whom Lee asserts is the single greatest Chinese novelist of the 20th century: Zhang Ailing (Eileen Chang). In particular, we take a closer look at one of her most famous stories, Love in a Fallen City (《倾城之恋》), and its depiction of the Japanese bombing of Hong Kong.  …read more

Revolution or Reform: A Discussion of the May 4th Movement

Talk to anyone in China, and they will telly you that May 4th, 1919 is the day that modern China began. Everything before that is feudal, everything after that progress. But is it really that black and white? Rob and Lee take a look at the May 4th Movement, both a political and literary event, and try to…read more

Narration and Revolution: The True Story of Ah Q

How does a low-life moron become one of the great tragic figures in modern Chinese culture? Lu Xun’s 1921 novella The True Story of Ah Q, a masterpiece of the May 4th Movement, presents just such a situation. We discuss the story’s unique narrative choices, and Lu Xun’s varying reception in Taiwan and mainland China.    …read more