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Can Xue, meaning “dirty snow,” “leftover snow,” but also “pure snow on the top of a mountain,” is the pseudonym of Deng Xiaohua. She was born in 1953 in Changsha City, Hunan Province; her parents were sent to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution, and she completed only elementary school. Can Xue learned English on her own and wrote books on Borges, Shakespeare, and Dante. Her publications in English include Frontier, The Embroidered Shoes, Five Spice Street, Vertical Motion, and The Last Lover, which won the 2015 Best Translated Book Award for Fiction.