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April 2008

Olympic Voices from China

Level A
By Huang Yongmei
A-Gump had already been called A-Gump.1 At that time, the American movie Forrest Gump wasn’t around yet. However, nobody knew about this. If A-Gump didn’t mention it, nobody would know. Among…
Translated from Chinese by Erin Yu-Tien Huang
Feminine Spirit, Unreconstructed
I first got to know Wang Jianan and Cai Xiaoli when I was in England. Wang Jianan can't stop talking, life in his mouth becomes a joke. Cai Xiaoli, on the other hand, hardly speaks at all, and doesn't…
Translated from Chinese
Red Bean Sticky Cakes and Running
By Zhao Ying
I am a countrywoman. This year, I'm thirty-six years old. My name is Chen Wumi. This name isn't very pleasing to hear, but the Beijing reporter Guo Wangjing was charmed by my name. He said that…
Translated from Chinese by Victoria Hsieh
Wang Hanfang
By Wang Anyi
At the time, young wives in our village didn’t have regular names. Add the word “xiao”–young–in front of their maiden names, that’s how they’d be called: “Xiao Qian,”…
Translated from Chinese by Hu Ying
Love’s Labor
By Ye Mi
“You noticed the way she came over, her chest out, eyes narrowed? She’s interested.”
Translated from Chinese by Hu Ying
Little Girl Lost
By Sheng Keyi
Dong Putao hadn’t been at work long when a shadow passed over the door. It was a man with a broad, slightly open mouth who, with a single movement, glided into the store like a shark. Ripples spread…
Translated from Chinese by John Barthelette
Footnotes Like Skyscrapers
“I want translations with copious footnotes, footnotes reaching up like skyscrapers to the top of this or that page so as to leave only the gleam of one textual line between commentary and eternity.”…
Morning Cloud, Evening Rain
A dream is not a dream A butterfly not a butterfly In the cloud, a pining spirit A myth in the dream's red chamber It's dawn. Our cruise ship has passed the roaring Qutang Gorge and entered Wushan…
Translated from Chinese
Travels with My Aunt
By Nicolás Casariego
If I had to choose a few words to sum up the trip it wouldn't be one phrase, but several, shouted loudly in my aunt Adelina's dry, shrill voice:“Stop! Stop! Will you stop once and for all!…
Translated from Spanish by Samantha Schnee
An expansion of plants with water fingers Drink this and look The laced skirts of raw milk The subterranean giants drowned in the azure And lakes open mouths have remained frozen Four oxen under a tree,…
Translated from Romanian
Shadows across Frosted Glass
By Juan José Saer
For Biby CastellaroTime is so complicated, yet so simple! Now I’m in the living room sitting in the rocking chair, and I can see Leopoldo’s shadow in the bathroom while he begins to undress.…
Translated from Spanish by Matthew Lansburgh
Random Notes on Beijing
Beijing's cab drivers are the best in the world. They don't accept tips, and if the drive is at all less than direct, they always eat the loss themselves. They start the meter only after the cab…
Translated from Chinese