Showing posts with label non-fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label non-fiction. Show all posts

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

‘Shen Yang does not legally exist.’ Nicky Harman reflects on a memoir by a victim of China’s One-Child Policy, and its unexpected impact on readers.

More Than One Child: Memoirs of an Illegal Daughter (Balestier, 2021) is Shen Yang’s story of growing up as an ‘excess-birth’ or ‘illegal’ child. She was born as a second daughter during the years of China’s one-child-per family policy (1980s to 2015). Although the policy was strictly enforced, a traditional preference for boys meant that families determined to produce a son and heir, often tried for more than one pregnancy. Baby girls were often aborted, abandoned, or adopted overseas. However, numerous second, third, and even fourth daughters survived, and grew up to suffer the consequences of their illegal status. 

 Shen Yang does not legally exist. Her official ID is still the fake document obtained so that she could attend school, by the aunt and uncle who fostered her. 

There is very little literature documenting the experiences of ‘illegals’ like Shen Yang. As a result, those who can read English (Shen Yang’s book has not yet been published in Chinese) are surprised, and often shaken, to find themselves and their lives reflected in her book. Shen Yang told me yesterday how the audience reacted at the launch of More Than One Child at the Royal Asiatic Society in Shanghai. 



13-11-2021, Shen Yang launches her memoir at the Royal Asiatic Society in Shanghai.

She writes: ‘The audience was hooked by my speech from the beginning to the very end, and some even cried. One girl in the front cried twice, which distracted me a bit and I almost forgot my lines. She was also an excess-birth child who had been adopted away from her family. I managed to give her a huge hug after the event. It was very moving. Then later another girl approached me, and told me she was also adopted. She makes documentaries now, and she wants to make a documentary with me about excess-birth children.’

Monday, 15 November 2021

Indie Spotlight: Building a community by writing - How my memoir about divorce connected people from around the world during the pandemic



Indie Spotlight is a column by WWII historical fiction author Alexa Kang. The column regularly features hot new releases and noteworthy indie-published books, and popular authors who have found success in the new creative world of independent publishing. 

 

One of the advantages of indie publishing is the freedom to bring our work to readers without adhering to the traditional model of book production. The freedom to share our work in progress with readers can help a writer determine whether her work resonates with the audience, and helps the writer improve her skills along the way by readers’ feedback. Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you author Ranjani Rao. During the year of pandemic, when we were all stuck at home, Ranjani wrote a memoir on her divorce experience. While writing, she began sharing her progress via a subscription letter. Occasionally, her subscribers would receive sneak peaks of excerpts of her book. Through sharing, she not only built her readership, but created an entire community for people with marital problems who were looking for someone to articulate their feelings. 


As an indie author myself, I can say for certain that knowing our work touches the lives of our readers, and that our writing gave them emotional release, is one of our biggest rewards for our hard work and efforts.  And now, over to Ranjani to tell you her amazing journey. . .  

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

A New Kid on the Block for Literary Nonprofits






Paper Republic is proud to announce that it is now a UK-registered charity no. 1182259. Paper Republic was set up by Eric Abrahamsen in 2008 as a blog site where we translators of Chinese literature could share our thoughts, our joys and our frustrations. Since then we have developed a variety of other activities and gained a gratifying degree of recognition: "If you need to know something about Chinese literature you start here," said one of the judges at the 2016 London Book Fair Literary Excellence Award, where we were runners-up. "Paper Republic demonstrates superb collaborative working across a number of platforms including their growing networks, their redesigned website and innovative live activities.