Sunday 19 April 2020

New book announcement: The Book of Shanghai, edited by Dai Congrong & Jin Li

The Book of Shanghai  published in the UK in partnership with the Confucius Institute, which promotes Chinese language and culture worldwide, is the latest addition to Comma’s Press' award-winning Reading the City series.

The anthology showcases 10 leading authors from China’s largest city: Wang Anyi; Teng Xiaolan; Xia Shang; Xiao Bai; Pu Yuehui; Shen Daicheng; bestselling horror writer Cai Jun; multi-award winning sci-fi writer Chen Quifan; Wang Zhanhei; and Chen Danyan.

All the stories have been sensitively translated into English by a top-notch team of translators including Helen Wang, Yu Yan Chen and Fran Nichols.

Stories range from crime thrillers, to historical dramas set over the past 50 years, from comedic interludes, to sci-fi visions of the future. Collectively, they offer an insight into the cultures, customs and social make-up of Shanghai, the city long-heralded as the cultural capital of China, and one where Eastern and Western cultures converge.

Shanghai's heyday of the 1920s and 30s, with its extraordinary nightlife and violent underworld, may be a distant memory, in what has now become the financial capital of China, but the city retains its reputation as a hotbed of artistic activity - the birthplace of Chinese cinema, animation, and C-pop.

Writing has always been an integral part of Shanghai's identity, and the anthology's ten stories remind us that this most visited of cities retains its ability to surprise.

The co-editors are Dai Congrong and Jin Li.

Dai Congrong is a Professor of Comparative Literature and World Literature at the Faculty of Chinese Language and Literature at Shanghai's Fudan University, where she holds the post of Director at the Fudan Centre for Literary Translation and Studies. She is a board member of the Shanghai Writers Association, Shanghai Translators Association, and the Shanghai Comparative Literature Association.

Jin Li is an Associate Professor of Modern Chinese Literature at the Department of Chinese Language and Literature, Fudan University. His works include Criticism of Modern Confucian Ethical Code from the Perspective of Literary History, To Be Born in History: The Construction of Youth in Contemporary Chinese Novels since the 1980s, and Youthful Dream and Literary Memory.

Details: published by Comma Press (UK), in paperback, priced in local currencies. Buy a copy here.