September 18-24, 2017
By BEN YUE in Beijing
For China Daily Asia Weekly
Academic publisher Ian Bannerman remembers that on his first visit to China in 1992 he was astounded to see shelf after shelf of photocopied journals in university libraries. People at that time had no concept of copyright, he said.
These days, as managing director of journals at Taylor & Francis Group, a leading global publisher of academic books, Bannerman sells databases to hundreds of universities in China.
With more Chinese scientists’ studies included in international journals, his job is “more about bringing China’s research to the world”.
Publishing, as an instrument of “soft power”, is now at the forefront of the China-led Belt and Road Initiative to build a modern trade and infrastructure network that spans the ancient Silk Road routes.
According to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), China’s trade volume of publishing copyrights has seen more than 20 percent annual growth during the past three years.
Imported books changed from mainly fiction and nonfiction titles from the West to titles from elsewhere, including Latin America and Africa, especially in the children’s books category.
Exports grew significantly, from 5 percent of China’s total new titles in 2014 to 15 percent last year.
“Book titles traded between China and countries along the Belt and Road increased from 2,700 to 5,000 during the same period,” said Wu Shangzhi, vice-minister of the SAPPRFT, at the 24th Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF), China’s major publishing trade expo.
It is the world’s second-biggest book fair in terms of participant numbers, after the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany.
During the five-day event, from Aug 23 to 27, 2,500 publishers from 89 countries and regions exhibited more than 300,000 books and signed 5,262 trade contracts, up 5 percent year-on-year. About 60 percent of the contracts were for exports, up 5.5 percent.
“Most of these exported books are about modern China’s economic development, policies and entrepreneurship, as well as social changes in the past decade,” Wu said.
Government-led projects still lead the way. For example, China has signed bilateral translation projects with 29 Belt and Road countries. Publishers from both sides are funded to translate each other’s classic literature.
Currently, about 60 Russian literary titles and 30 Arabic titles have been sold in China.
State-owned publishers, such as the People’s Literature Publishing House and The Commercial Press, are encouraged to copublish books with foreign partners. To date, 300 Chinese books have entered markets in more than 50 countries, with 200 more titles in the pipeline.
The more efficient way is to set up branches in overseas markets — which about 20 Chinese publishers have done — by building local distribution channels and marketing plans based on demand for original content.
Qi Dexiang, founder of Phoenix Tree Publishing, a Chicago-based subsidiary of Beijing Language and Culture University Press (BLCUP), led the language education textbook publisher to the United States in 2011, and broke even in three years.
BLCUP is the first Chinese university publisher to open an overseas office. And making that move involved a long process of evaluation.
“We found that the number of foreign students coming to China has stagnated at about half a million for a few years and it seems it will remain that way for some time,” Qi said.
Meanwhile, the number of overseas students learning Chinese is growing very fast. In the US alone, there are 300,000 students registered in online Chinese classes conducted by the Confucius Institute, Qi said.
The Confucius Institute, affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education, promotes Chinese language and culture across the world.
With the aim of targeting overseas students who are keen to learn Chinese, Qi and his team — who are partly Chinese with the rest hired locally — lobbied US middle schools and high schools.
Finally, their books received the green light to enter the US national education system.
“We have a strong backlist (older books still in print) back home of over 3,000 textbooks designed for foreign students.” Only a little rewriting is required to make them suitable for the US market, Qi said.
Now, Phoenix Tree’s books are sold through Amazon and Barnes & Noble into 45 states, 200 universities and more than 1,000 high schools, middle schools and primary schools across the US.
“I would say it’s win-win — the students get better textbooks, our authors get double royalties from two markets,” Qi explained.
There are three major ways for Chinese publishers to go global, and setting up an overseas office is one of these strategies, according to Richard Charkin, former president of the International Publishers Association (IPA), at the BIBF.
“It’s like the British university presses did in the 20th century — to set up branches across the world — and it was very successful.”
Publishing, as an instrument of “soft power”, is now at the forefront of the China-led Belt and Road Initiative.
However, this strategy has its downsides, Charkin noted. “It’s very slow, and can fail altogether.”
The second way is by acquisition, which is quick, simple and strategic, but very expensive. Then there is the third way — a partnership, which allows the Chinese companies to understand the complexity of each market.
“A mix of all three would be the best result,” Charkin said.
He emphasized the importance of publishing books in English. The big European players — such as Hachette Livre from France, Grupo Planeta from Spain, Holtzbrinck Publishing from Germany — all took the opportunity to become international brands.
“Chinese publishers should learn from these experiences,” he noted.
In 2015, China was elected as an IPA member. It helped the global publishing community and China understand each other better.
Charkin, who is also the executive director of Bloomsbury Publishing, the publisher of the Harry Potter books series, said the British company will launch a new imprint, Bloomsbury China, in 2018. It will publish the works of Tang Xianzu, a great playwright who lived during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
Bloomsbury is not the first international publisher to tap the Chinese market. Penguin Random House entered China in 1995, doing both local publishing and translating Chinese literature, from the modern classics of Lu Xun and Lao She, to contemporary writers such as Mo Yan and Sheng Keyi.
In 2010, Hachette Livre formed a joint venture with China’s Phoenix Publishing & Media Group, with the focus on publishing children’s books.
During the recent BIBF, United Kingdom-based Usborne signed a partnership to publish 30 titles with China’s Jieli Publishing House, an industry leader in children’s books.
The children’s books segment has been the main driver of the Chinese market in the past few years, recording annual growth of around 30 percent.
China has become the world’s second-biggest book market, with total sales reaching 83.1 billion yuan ($12.7 billion) last year, according to a report by German Book Office Beijing, a brand name of the Frankfurt Book Fair’s media consultancy, Creative Publishing Consulting.
But the US, which dominates the global publishing industry, is double the size of the Chinese market, with total sales of $25 billion last year.
Eric Abrahamsen, founder of the Paper Republic, a Beijing-based company devoted to translating Chinese literature and introducing it to the West, finds it very hard to persuade foreign publishers to buy Chinese books. A major problem is that few publishers recognize good writers in China, he said.
“(Foreign publishers) think it is risky to buy Chinese books because, compared with domestic books, they have to pay extra money for translation and spend a longer time to make the book,” Abrahamsen said.
As an American who has lived in China for 16 years, Abrahamsen translated Wang Xiaofang’s The Civil Servant’s Notebook and a novella collection of Wang Xiaobo, the first Chinese author whose work he fell in love with.
Abrahamsen’s active promotions of Chinese literature include Northern Girls by Sheng Keyi, The Invisibility Cloak by Ge Fei and Jia Pingwa’s Happy Dreams, which was published by Amazon as part of this year’s BIBF.
Danny Wang, director of digital content acquisition at Amazon China, said Happy Dreams will be sold worldwide through Amazon’s websites. The title is the first Chinese book to be included in the Kindle First program, which gives members the opportunity to download an editors’ pick a month before the official publication date.
Wang said the online bookseller has been trying to provide a one-stop service for Chinese publishers in recent years.
“If you want to be serious about China, either buying or selling, it’s essential to visit (the country),” said Jessica Kingsley, founder of UK-based health imprint Singing Dragon, which specializes in Chinese medicine books.
“The market is changing so fast, it really does help to see it firsthand,” Kingsley said.
Translating into global success Mai Jia is among Chinese writers who have cracked the international market with overseas publishing deals
September 18-24, 2017
By BEN YUE in Beijing
For China Daily Asia Weekly
Spy novelist Mai Jia is one of the few Chinese contemporary writers so far to have achieved stellar commercial success in both the domestic and overseas market.
First published in China in 2002, Mai Jia’s Decoded has, since 2014, been published in 26 languages and sold more than 30 copyrights.
Marketing campaigns in the United Kingdom called him China’s answer to John le Carre, the acclaimed British author who penned The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
In the United States, Decoded ranks among Amazon’s best-selling international novels. And in Brazil, its publisher ran a bus advertisement, saying: “Who is Mai Jia? The Chinese writer you have to know.”
How his debut novel was ultimately picked up abroad is a story in itself. In the years beforehand, Mai Jia (the pen name of Jiang Benhu) was already a well-established novelist in China.
In 2008, he was awarded one of China’s highest literary honors, the Mao Dun Literature Prize. The following year, his novel The Message was successfully adapted for the big screen as an espionage thriller, and bagged 225 million yuan ($34.6 million) at the box office.
However, although the novelist’s agent was attending the London Book Fair each year to sell overseas publishing rights to his books, those attempts came to nothing.
In 2010, Olivia Milburn, a British Sinologist who teaches Chinese language and literature at South Korea’s Seoul National University, bought a copy of Decoded while waiting at a Shanghai airport for a delayed flight.
The book is about a genius Chinese mathematician who worked as a cryptographer during World War II. Milburn’s grandfather was also a WWII cryptographer, so she was immediately drawn to the character and plot.
Upon arrival in Britain, she decided to translate a few chapters to show her grandfather. She then mentioned the book to a doctoral classmate, Julia Lovell. Lovell is a Sinologist who works closely with the UK publishing industry and has translated works by Chinese writers including the late literary master Lu Xun.
From there it all went very smoothly. Lovell introduced Decoded to Penguin Books and, with a $50,000 advance fee, it became the first contemporary Chinese fiction ever published under the Penguin Classics imprint.
Mai Jia was the fourth Chinese writer to be included in the series — after Cao Xueqin, Lu Xun and Eileen Chang — but among them he is the only one living.
A few months later, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, owned by Macmillan, republished the book in the United States. In 2014, 26 copyrights of Decoded were sold at the London Book Fair.
“Translators are like writers’ foster parents,” Mai Jia said at a Beijing International Book Fair panel discussion last month. “I don’t think I’m particularly good, but I’m particularly lucky. All of this began with the delayed plane: How many books (would owe their success to) such a coincidence?”
In China, more than 7,000 writers have registered with the China Writers Association, creating more than 3,000 novels each year. But only some 200-plus writers have been introduced overseas, according to the Chinese Culture Communication and Translation Center.
“Many foreign readers struggle to understand Chinese literature themes,” said Nick Tapper, commissioning editor at Giramondo Publishing.
The Australian publishing house, which specializes in translation literature, has introduced cutting-edge Chinese writings. These include works by A Lai, Yu Jie, Sheng Keyi and Zhang Zao — names that even Chinese readers may be only a little familiar with.
“Translation literature is a small pie in an already small market,” said Tapper. “Mo Yan, Yan Lianke, Gao Xingjian, Liao Yiwu have all been published in Australia, but it is rare for their work to gain much prominence.”
According to Tapper, 7,000 represents a good sales figure in Australia, while a best-seller will achieve about 30,000 or 40,000 sales.
“Gao Xingjian’s Soul Mountain sold 7,500 copies. That was a real success,” he said. “Mo Yan’s Red Sorghum sold 3,000 copies. But most Chinese titles are under 1,000 copies.”
Soul Mountain’s translator Mabel Lee is from Sydney, and the translation was first published in a literature magazine by Giramondo.
Tapper noted the many Chinese living in Australia, about 1 million people of Chinese ancestry in the country, and the 100,000 Chinese students at Australian universities. “It may have bigger impact in the future,” he said.
“We bought Mai Jia’s novel because Israel has a lot of code crackers,” said Lea Penn, editor and publisher from Penn Publishing, Mai Jia’s Hebrew publisher in Israel.
Howard Goldblatt, the translator who helped Mo Yan gain the Nobel Prize in Literature 2012, and arguably the world’s most famous translator of Chinese literature, once said that the problem of many Chinese novels not appealing to Western readers is that the writers focus on philosophical discussion, forgetting that novels should first be intriguing.
Also, Sinologist Lovell said that translated Chinese titles are largely for academic purposes rather than commercial, which is often why they stay out of the sight of ordinary readers.
Simon Lorsch, editor at Germany’s Suhrkamp Verlag, a leading European fine literature publisher, has suggested that the best way for Chinese writers to go commercial is via the genre novel.
Lorsch generalized that there are three types of readers in Germany. The first category he called “serious readers” — mainly professionals who read relevant and useful books, in most cases nonfiction. The second category, “emotional readers”, is the biggest group — people who like to read romance or thrillers. And the third category is “cool readers” — those willing to read experimental and innovative writings.
Lorsch said Chinese titles obviously do not belong to the first category and they also find it hard to fit into the third category because of the language barrier. Therefore, the only choice is to grab the attention of readers from the second category, which requires the books to carry great stories and intense emotion.
Suhrkamp recently published Chinese writer Xiao Bai’s French Concession, a political conspiracy novel focusing on assassinations and adventures in old Shanghai.
When it comes to foreign writers, readers tend to buy international best-sellers so that they have no need to assess the writer’s previous works, said Lea Penn, editor and publisher from Penn Publishing, Mai Jia’s Hebrew publisher in Israel.
Although small, the Israeli market closely follows international trends. The market for translations is dominated by those of English novels, with a 66 percent market share, followed by French (6 percent), German (5 percent) and Spanish (4 percent). Other languages, including Chinese, hold a combined 19 percent market share.
“We bought Mai Jia’s novel because Israel has a lot of code crackers,” Penn said. “Also, the main character’s teacher is Jewish.”
Identifying that link, Penn promoted the book to several military organizations. Mai Jia, who served in the Chinese army for more than 10 years, was invited to Israel and gave a speech to local fans.
“It took me 11 years to write my first novel, and it took another 12 years for this novel to go abroad,” Mai Jia recalled at the Beijing book fair session. “So I guess publishing overseas is even harder than writing the novel itself.
“There are many writers in Chinese who are better than me. I just wish there will be a systematized way for them to be known by the world,” he said.
World wants to read Xi’s philosophy Translations of president’s book prove popular in many countries as a key window into China
September 18-24, 2017
By MEI JIA
Translated Chinese books are starting to gain a foothold in overseas markets with President Xi Jinping’s writings proving especially popular.
According to Zhang Fuhai, the director of China International Publishing Group, which runs Foreign Languages Press, publisher of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China, 6.42 million copies of the book have been distributed so far worldwide. It has been published in 21 languages in more than 160 countries and regions.
Reviewers see the book as an important window into China and say that is why it is so popular globally.
“This is the first time a serving leader of China has made his philosophy, his ideas and his programs available to the international community in (so many) multiple languages,” said David Ferguson, a Scottish writer, translator and foreign expert with the publishing group.
“An enormous amount of international attention is being paid to China at the moment. There are huge expectations of China. The world wants to know what to expect of China under the current leadership,” Ferguson said.
On Aug 23, the publisher launched the English and French versions of the president’s work, Up and Out of Poverty.
The book was originally published in Chinese in 1992. It comprises 29 of Xi’s speeches and articles written during his posting, from 1988-90, as Party secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Ningde Prefectural Committee in East China’s Fujian province.
Speaking about the book, Wu Shangzhi, vice-minister of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, said: “To eradicate poverty and boost development in eastern Fujian, the president devised innovative ideas, mechanisms and methods, and he has shared those in the book.
“The book shows his concern and care for the people there, and his confidence and determination to fight poverty.”
Bah Thierno Maadjou, a counselor with the embassy of Guinea in China, said the book offered thoughts, ways and a vision to help developing countries in fighting poverty.
Meanwhile, Zhang, the director of the publishing group, said: “President Xi’s ideas and the summarization of his experience offered a theoretical and political foundation for poverty alleviation in the country, where 55 million people have been lifted from misery — a feat as well as a miracle in human history.
“The theories are an important part of the Chinese governing philosophy and strategy. And, in multiple languages, the book will offer Chinese wisdom and solutions to issues shared by the international community.”
Separately, The Governance of China contains a fuller picture of Xi’s ideas.
The book, comprising 79 articles and speeches — from Nov 15, 2012, to June 13, 2014 — is seen as a key read for China watchers.
Milos Balaban, a professor with Charles University in Prague, in the Czech Republic, said at a symposium on the book in 2016 that the publication offered readers a chance to understand the reasons for China’s development, especially from a wider historical, political and economic background.
Balaban said the book showed that progress “isn’t possible without a sound and complete governing mechanism”.
He also said the country’s development model offered an example to the Czech Republic as well as other European countries.
Also at the 2016 symposium, Vojtech Filip, the leader of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia, said: “One of President Xi Jinping’s great contributions is that he made the new strategic plans and implemented them, leading China into a new phase of development.”
Ten such symposiums, as well as 14 book launches, have been held around the world since the book was released in 2014.
Liu Yuhong of the promotion department of Foreign Languages Press said the publisher believes the global success of the book is a result of efforts by copublishers in different markets and the international branches of Chinese organizations.
Speaking about what impressed him most in the book, Ferguson said it was the Appendix, which offers a profile of Xi under the title, Man of the People.
“Often, Chinese political writing is all facts and figures. It is dry and conceptual, and lacks the human element that we value in the West. But the Appendix from Xi’s book tells the story of Xi’s experiences from his youth as an ‘intellectual being reeducated’ in rural Shaanxi (in Northwest China). This story enables you to … see Xi as the very down-to-earth person he is in reality,” Ferguson said.
In the profile, Xi is quoted as saying: “The people aspire to a decent life — that is what we are fighting for.”
Demand grows for book translators Domestic and foreign linguistic talent sought as exports of Chinese publications surge
September 18-24, 2017
By ZHANG KUN
China will export more publications to other countries, both in print and digital formats, to further expand its visibility, officials said on Sept 13. This will increase the demand for translators.
According to figures released at the 13th Chinese Books Overseas Promotion Project conference in Shanghai, China sold more than 50,000 publication copyrights from 2012 to 2016.
Wu Shangzhi, deputy head of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, said at the Sept 13 meeting that China’s copyright exports for books grew by 30 percent over that same period. Books about contemporary China are making a great impact overseas, he said.
For example, 6.4 million copies of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China have been distributed worldwide and appear in 22 languages.
Cui Yuying, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and vice-minister of the State Council Information Office, said despite all the efforts and achievements in introducing Chinese books abroad, few have made a significant international impact.
One of the problems, Cui said, is a lack of qualified translators. She suggested the government should make a bigger effort to cultivate competent translators and bring talented translators to China.
“We could increase compensation for outstanding translators, and provide bigger subsidies for books translated from Chinese,” she said. “We encourage foreign students in China, as well as those who live and work in China for long periods, to be passionate about Chinese culture, and to take up the translation of Chinese books.”
Amazon’s China book section has more than 673,000 titles available. Exclusive shelves for Chinese books have been set up in mainstream bookstores in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates; and 27 Nishan House bookshops, a Chinese franchise, have opened in North and South America, Oceania and Africa.
A growing number of Chinese books are being sold on mainstream digital book sales sites. At the same time, digital platforms are being developed to provide information and an index of Chinese books in foreign languages.
At the conference, Shanghai Century Publishing Group shared its experience of selling school textbooks to the United Kingdom. In March, the company signed a deal with Collins Learning at the London Book Fair to publish English translations of mathematics textbooks used by Shanghai’s primary schools.
“This is the first time China’s primary and middle school textbooks — systematically and on a large scale — have entered the national educational system of a developed country,” said Wang Lan, president of Century Publishing.
Century Publishing has also successfully published a book series on Chinese culture. So far, 360 titles have been released and sold at major international airports, railway stations and other transportation hubs in 40 countries.
The group also plans to launch a new series of picture books featuring Chinese folklore in Europe and the United States.
Books and tea culture unite countries Title by award-winning Chinese writer in Belt and Road series is translated in Indian languages, Bengali and Hindi
September 18-24, 2017
By GUAN XIAOMENG
The Land of Tea, or Rui Cao Zhi Guo, by Chinese writer Wang Xufeng saw its Bengali version launched on Aug 24 by Sampark Publishing House of India during the Beijing International Book Fair, and the Hindi translation is nearing completion.
The book was first published by Zhejiang University Press (ZJUP) in 2001 and was chosen as one of ZJUP’s export selections of the Belt and Road Initiative titles to coincide with the national campaign which is in full swing.
The Belt and Road series covers more than 100 disciplines including archaeology, arts, religion and law of the countries involved in the initiative, in more than 10 languages such as English, Spanish, Russian, Turkish and Bengali.
Proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative is the China-led plan to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes.
Sunandan Roy Chowdhury, publisher at Sampark, said his press used to be influenced by the West. Now it is starting to look east, especially to Turkey, Pakistan and China.
“We are tapping China as we share the same culture, such as love for tea. Through books we can build peace between the two countries as we both are lands of tea.”
The writer and tea culture scholar Wang Xufeng won one of China’s top literary awards, the 5th Mao Dun Literary Prize awarded in November 2000, for Trilogy of Tea and Man, her novel about the history of a family tea business in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province. The Land of Tea further testifies to the varied roles of China’s tea culture.
India has 22 recognized languages, and Bengali and Hindi are two of the most popular apart from English.
Chowdhury said one of the challenges is translation. “The Bengali translator will translate this book from English and may not know Chinese.”
Likewise, there are few Bengali speakers in China. According to a study released last year by the Ministry of Education and the State Language Commission, more than 40 languages are spoken in the countries along the Belt and Road routes, however only 20 of them are taught at Chinese universities, with students enrolled in a Bengali major numbering less than 50 in 2015.
But for Chowdhury the language barrier is not a problem. “Sampark means relationship or contact in Hindi. We are building relationships through books.”
And he seems to know how to get Indians to buy the book. “We have blown up the images, as the book has many beautiful paintings and photos. And then we plan to hold an art exhibition based on this book to attract more publicity and more readers.”
Opportunities to understand China A selection of new titles that will be made available in English and other languages
September 18-24, 2017
By MEI JIA
Anecdotes and Sayings of Xi Jinping
Chinese publisher People’s Publishing House agreed with Germany-based Springer Nature, Russia’s Chance Group and Japan’s Duan Press to publish the English, Russian and Japanese versions of this book, consisting of articles compiled by the People’s Daily.
“President Xi has a unique and charming style of giving speeches, quoting anecdotes and stories,” said Wu Shangzhi, vice-minister of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, at the signing ceremony in Beijing.
The book is a selection of 109 such anecdotes and stories from Xi’s speeches, and explanations and interpretations are also offered. More than 1.1 million copies of the book have been distributed in the Chinese market.
Roman Gerasimov, general manager of the Russian publisher, said the book will be helpful for Russian researchers as well as for general readers to know more about the president.
Books on Philosophy and Social Sciences
The China Social Science Press, under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), is a major publisher in social sciences. At the Beijing International Book Fair in August, it shared its plans.
Its president, Zhao Jianying, said it has worked with 30 foreign publishers and released 80 titles in foreign languages.
The China Insights series, the China Perspective series, the Concise Reader series and the China Academic History series are some of its publications.
China Insights includes 15 Chinese titles by top scholars on economic development, the environment, culture and Chinese values. Nine of the titles are published in English by Springer, and more are to come. The Arabic, Korean and Spanish versions of the series are to be published soon.
The China Perspective series is a collection of writings by CASS members. Eight have been published by British publisher Routledge, and four are to come.
Zhang Yi, director of Chinese Social Development Research under CASS, looks at the changing trends in China’s social classes in his new book, The Five Waves.
“In 2006, 40 percent of Chinese were farmers. But a significant shift occurred in 2011, and now the new middle class plus working class outnumber the farmers. And in 2020, there will be more middle class,” said Zhang.
Yilin Press has signed an agreement with the UK-based New Classic Press to publish the English version of a six-volume series on Chinese high-speed rail.
“While introducing advanced science and technology, the books can discuss the unique aspects and advantages of Chinese production. They expound on the ‘artisan spirit’, and can change foreign stereotypes of Chinese creativity,” said Zhao Haiyun with the import management department of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
Xie Shanqing from Yilin said the books are based on comprehensive, real and authoritative sources, and contain the latest achievements and data. Farough Khodadadi from the British publisher said the series shows that China is achieving all-round development.
Intelligent Manufacturing and Robots
Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Central China’s Hubei province, is to release the English version of its series on intelligent manufacturing theories and technology. The university has a national-level key laboratory and is collaborating with top experts from other organizations to finish the books.
A novel by veteran writer Jia Pingwa, published in Chinese in 2007, Happy Dreams tells stories of Liu Gaoxing, a trash collector from rural Shaanxi in Northwest China.
“People like Gaoxing were first-generation migrant workers. They are at the margins of urban life because they can’t be part of the city. At the same time they can’t go back to their villages as they have lost their land,” said Jia.
Translated by award-winning literary translator Nicky Harman, the novel will be released by Amazon in digital and print worldwide.
China Creation series
China Intercontinental Press and Gale International have worked on publishing China Emerging: 1978-2008, released in 2009, and the 12-volume The Sinopedia Series, released in 2010.
The partners will also work on titles about China’s achievements in space technology and hydraulic engineering.
Terry Robinson, senior vice-president of Gale International, said: “International readers will be able to understand China’s economic restructuring better, and the determined effort to transform China from an export-oriented manufacturing center into an economy driven by innovation in technology and engineering.”