Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Just quickly...

Click for the opportunity to get trained to lead a writing workshop in Cambodia with Writing Through. You don’t need to be a writer, poet, or teacher and you don’t need to move to Cambodia. Training is scheduled for Friday, 27 October in Central Singapore.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

500 words from Stephanie Han

500 words from is an occasional series in which writers talk about their newly-published books.

Stephanie Han is an American with family roots in Korea. She now divides her time between Hong Kong and Hawaii, home of her family since 1904. Her short stories cross the borders and boundaries of Hong Kong, Korea, and the United States.

Swimming in Hong Kong is Stephanie’s debut collection. It has won wide praise, including from Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer. It explores the geography of hope and love, as its characters struggle with dreams of longing and home, and wander in the myths of memory and desire.

So, over to Stephanie…

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Guest post: Nicky Harman on translating Happy Dreams, by Jia Pingwa

Although few of his novels are currently translated into English, Jia Pingwa is one of China’s most popular novelists. UK-based Nicky Harman translates from Chinese into English, and spends time promoting contemporary Chinese fiction to the general English-language reader.

Nicky’s translation of Jia Pingwa’s
高兴, Happy Dreams, has just been published.

Happy Dreams concerns Hawa 'Happy' Liu’s search for a life that lives up to his self-given name. He travels from his rural home to the city of Xi’an, taking with him only an eternally positive attitude, his devoted best friend Wufu, and a pair of high-heeled women’s shoes he hopes to slip onto the feet of the yet to be found love of his life.

In Xi’an, Happy and Wufu find jobs as trash pickers sorting through the city's dumps. But Happy refuses to be crushed by circumstance: in his eyes, life is what you make of it. His optimism seems justified when he meets a beautiful girl: surely she is the one to fill the shoes? But when harsh conditions and the crush of societal inequalities take the life of his friend, Happy needs more than just optimism to hold on to the belief that something better is possible.

Here, Nicky discusses translating 高兴

Saturday, 30 September 2017

StoryDrive Asia

The Singapore Book Publishers Association and Frankfurt Book Fair are jointly organising the 2017 StoryDrive Asia conference on 13-14 November, at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore.

The two-day conference is aimed at authors - published and unpublished - publishers, marketing managers, editors, rights and license managers, and service providers. It will cover topics such as copyright and licensing, e-production, sales, new marketing strategies and trends, international business, new technologies, future ways of storytelling like virtual reality and augmented reality, and cross-media sales.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Indie spotlight: Soulla Christodoulou

Indie spotlight is our monthly column on self-publishing. This month our regular columnist, Tim Gurung, chats to Soulla Christodoulou, author of the women’s fiction titles Broken Pieces of Tomorrow, and the forthcoming The Summer Will Come, about her experience of self-publishing.

Friday, 22 September 2017

What kind of heart? Guest post from Alison Jean Lester

Although she is an American now based in England, Alison Jean Lester has variously studied, worked, and raised children in China, Italy, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore. Her first novel, Lillian on Life, was published in 2015, and her second, Yuki Means Happiness, came out in July.

Set in Tokyo, Yuki Means Happiness concerns the relationship between Diana, a young nanny newly-arrived from America, and her charge, two-year-old Yuki Yoshimura.  As Diana becomes increasingly attached to Yuki she also becomes aware that not everything in the Yoshimura household is as it first seemed. Before long, she must ask herself if she is brave enough to put everything on the line for Yuki, and thereby confront too her own demons.

So, over to Alison Jean…

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Backlist books: Mahabharata retold by William Buck

Backlist books is a column by Lucy Day Hobor that focuses on enduring, important works from or about Asia.

This post is about The Mahabharata, specifically a short prose retelling by William Buck. The 2,000-year-old Sanskrit original is the longest epic poem in the world, consisting of over 200,000 verses or 1.8 million words. If you combine The Mahabharata with the much shorter Sanskrit epic The Ramayana, you get more words than there are in The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Bible, and the complete works of Shakespeare combined. Even the short version of The Mahabharata bristles with more heroes, fair maidens, and helpful, mischievous, or jealous gods than you can shake a stick at. Nevertheless, let’s shake that stick.

See below to find out what you need to know to decide whether you should read The Mahabharata, or what you should know about it even if you never do!