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For this World Series edition, we turn our pages to China. An ancient civilization, a vast nation, the largest population in the world. All true, but what is it actually like? Within our pages we gather a collection of stories to attempt to understand a country with 1.3 billion people.
Jean Kwok is the award-winning, New York Times and international bestselling author of Searching for Sylvie Lee, Girl in Translation and Mambo in Chinatown. Her work has been published in twenty countries and taught in universities, colleges and high schools across the world. An instant New York Times bestseller, Searching for Sylvie Lee was selected for the Today Show Book Club and featured in The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, CNN, The New York Post, The Washington Post, O Magazine, People, Entertainment Weekly and more. Jean has been chosen for numerous honors including the American Library Association Alex Award, the Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award international shortlist. She has appeared on The Today Show and spoken at many schools and venues including Harvard University, Columbia University and the Tucson Festival of Books. A television documentary was filmed about Jean and her work.
Xiaolu Guo is a Chinese-born British novelist, memoirist and film-maker, who explores migration, alienation, memory, personal journeys, feminism, translation and transnational identities. Her books have been translated into 28 languages. Her novels include A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers (Orange Prize for Fiction Shortlist), Village of Stone, and I Am China (a 2014 NPR’s Best Book). Her recent memoir Nine Continents won the National Book Critics Circle Award 2017 and shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Award as well as Costa Award. Her most recent novel is A Lover’s Discourse (Grove Atlantic 2020), inspired by Roland Barthes’ work. She is named as a Granta’s Best of Young British Novelist in 2013. She also directed several feature films, including How Is Your Fish Today (Sundance Official Selection 2007) and won the Grand Jury Prize at the International Women Film Festival France. UFO In Her Eyes was premiered at Toronto (TIFF 2010) and produced by the legendary German Turkish Filmmaker Faith Akin. She is a jury member of the Booker Prize 2019 and currently a visiting professor and writer-in-residence at Columbia University.
A Yi has worked as a police office and editor of sports journalism. His works include Grey Stories, The Bird Saw Me, What Should I do next, Model Youth and the Lonely One. He won the young writer of the year Award, was chosen as one of People’s literature top 20 future masters, and won the Chinese literature media award’s Best New Artist Award.
Julian Farmer is a poet and translator from several languages, especially French, Classical Greek, Latin, Russian and Classical Chinese. His poems and translations have been published in Acumen, Staple, Stand, London Magazine, Epiphany, SHOp, and Modern Poetry in Translation.
Liang Yujing is a translator born in Changde, China, and completed an MA in American Literature at Wuhan University in 2007. Now a lecturer at Hunan University of Commerce, he writes in both English and Chinese. His poems in English have recently appeared in Tipton Poetry Journal, Portland Review Online, Zouch Magazine, and Wasafiri.