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Translation in action - two translators approach a Chinese short story

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This event is a translation slam where two translators work on one text simultaneously and discuss their different approaches.

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Translators and Paper Republic members Nicky Harman and Jack Hargreaves will consider an excerpt from a short story by Shen Dacheng (沈大成) from her 2020 collection entitled Asteroids in the Afternoon (小行星掉在下午), published by Imaginist Press. The excerpt and the translations will be made available prior to the event.

Nicky Harman lives in the UK and translates full-time from Chinese, focusing on fiction, literary non-fiction, and occasionally poetry. Several of her translations have been the recipient of an English PEN Translates award and she has won a Mao Tai Cup People's Literature Chinese-English translation prize (2015), and first prize in the 2013 China International Translation Contest, Chinese-to-English section, with Jia Pingwa’s ‘Backflow River’ (倒流河). When not translating, she works on Paper-Republic.org, a non-profit website promoting Chinese literature in translation, where she is also a Trustee. She organizes translation-focused events, mentors new translators, gives regular talks and workshops on translation, and judges translation competitions. She was co-Chair of the Translators Association (Society of Authors, UK) from 2014 to 2017. She blogs on Asian Books Blog, and tweets, with Helen Wang, as China Fiction Book Club @cfbcuk.

Jack Hargreaves is a Chinese-English translator from East Yorkshire, now based in London. Specialising in literary and academic translation, his work has appeared on Asymptote Journal, Paper Republic and LA Review of Books China Channel and includes writing by Zhu Yiye, Isaac Hsu, Yuan Ling, Liu Xinglong, Lu Yinyin and Ye Duoduo. He translated Shen Dacheng’s short story ‘Novelist in the Attic’ for Comma Press’s The Book of Shanghai. Forthcoming translations include Li Juan’s Winter Pasture, Yang Dian’s flash fiction collection A Contrarian’s Tales, A History of Chinese Philosophical Thought by Zhang Xianghao and Buddhism and Buddhology by Hong Xiuping. Earlier this year, Jack joined the Paper Republic team.

Shen Dacheng is a columnist, novelist, short story writer and editor. After graduating from Shanghai University in Industrial Management, she worked in marketing and then began a column (featuring short stories based on real characters’ lives) called ‘Strange People’ in the literary publication Sprout. Real name Xu Xiaoqian, she takes her pen name from a popular Shanghai pastry shop. Her first collection The Ones in Remembrance was published in 2017. Her 2018 short story ‘Little Miss Box Person’ is set in a world of virus-induced fear, where the rich live in sealed containers which protect them from the pathogen, and the rest live a life of constant, compulsory blood tests and hosings-down with disinfectant. Her newest collection, Asteroids in the Afternoon, was released early 2020.

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