1st Edition

Contemporary Chinese Novels in Translation since 1978 Literary Voices from the Periphery

By Yun Wu Copyright 2025
    206 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book seeks to complement the traditional scope of translation studies, which has primarily centered on translating English into other languages. It presents a comprehensive analysis of the opposite translation trajectory—moving from Chinese literature to the core English literary domain.

    The book aims to explore the ideological and sociological dynamics that underlie the translation of contemporary Chinese novels. This is achieved through an examination of the translation selection process, translation paratexts, and the roles of translation agents. Case studies are employed to illustrate specific linguistic, literary, and cultural challenges within translation. It dissects the cultural and literary implications of translating genres such as women's writing, Chinese science fiction, and Internet literature. The argument presented is that the translation of peripheral literature is indispensable in shaping global literature. Beyond its literary implications, the book identifies the political significance inherent in such reverse translation endeavors. It suggests that the translation of Chinese literature holds notable political interest for the Chinese government, which aims to reshape China's image and bolster the nation's soft power through literary translation.

    This work will be an essential read to students and scholars of translation studies, comparative literature, and Chinese studies.

    1. Introduction  2. Chinese Novels in English Translation. A Diachronic Overview  3. Different Patronage in Source-initiated and Target-initiated Translation  4. Translation and Reception of Representative Chinese Writers  5. Translating Female Voices. Gender, Politics, and Poetics  6. Crowdsourcing Translation. A New Paradigm for Chinese Internet Literature  7. Conclusion


    Yun Wu is Professor of Translation Studies at the School of Foreign Languages, Tongji University, China. Professor Wu specializes in cultural translation theories, ideology and translation, and Chinese literature and culture in translation. She has published widely in refereed CSSCI and SSCI journals.