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Can Xue

Translators

Chen Zeping

Chen Zeping (1953– ) is professor of Chinese at Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, China. He holds a master’s degree in Chinese linguistics from Beijing University.

Professor Chen teaches Chinese language and dialects and also engages in research on dialects. Classes that Professor Chen has taught include modern Chinese, linguistics, Chinese dialectology, fieldwork and research in Chinese dialects, historical linguistics, and Chinese as a second language.

Professor Chen’s books include Fuzhou fangyan yanjiu [Research on the Fuzhou Dialect], Fuzhou fangyan shuyu geyao [Idioms and Ballads in the Fuzhou Dialect], Minyu xin tansuo [New Studies on Fujian Dialects], and others.

Professor Chen was a visiting scholar at Southern Oregon University in 1988–89, 1991–92, and 1995. There, he taught modern Chinese as well as Chinese history and culture. From 2000 to 2002, he was a visiting professor at Ehime University in Matsuyama, Japan. In 2005, he received a fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science to present a series of lectures in Japan.

Since 1999, he has also collaborated with Karen Gernant in translating contemporary Chinese fiction into English. Together, they have published more than thirty translations of short stories and novellas in U.S. literary journals. Their book of translations of recent fiction by Can Xue was published in 2006 by New Directions as Blue Light in the Sky and Other Stories. Their translation of Can Xue’s novel Five Spice Street appeared in 2009 (Yale University Press). Their translations of stories by Zhang Kangkang, White Poppies and Other Stories, will be published by the Cornell East Asia Series. Turnrow Books will bring out an anthology of their translations titled Eleven Contemporary Chinese Writers in 2010.

Annelise Finegan

Annelise Finegan is translating Can Xue's novel The Last Lover. When not translating, she works as an acquisitions editor at Syracuse University Press. Originally from Philadelphia, she studied comparative literature at Yale University and Chinese language and literature at the InterUniversity Program in Beijing.

Karen Gernant

Karen Gernant (1938– ) is professor emerita of Chinese history, Southern Oregon University. She holds a B.A. in English and history from Western Michigan University, a master’s degree in political science from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in Asian Studies from the University of Oregon, and a Ph.D. in Chinese history from the University of Oregon. She studied Chinese at the University of Oregon, Indiana University, and the Stanford Center in Taipei.

At Southern Oregon University, she taught courses in Chinese history, Japanese history, and women’s history. Professor Gernant also served as department chair and taught in the Honors Program. She received a number of fellowships and grants and presented papers at several international conferences. Her book, Imagining Women: Fujian Folk Tales, was published in 1995 by Interlink.

Professor Gernant’s fascination with Asia began when she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lahad Datu, Sabah, Malaysia, from 1963 to 1965. Since 1987, she has lived in Fuzhou, China, eighteen times. There, she twice directed an Oregon Study Program; worked as a language consultant for Fujian TV; and has carried out research, translated fiction, and taught English. In 1999, she was awarded the Fujian Province Friendship Medal.

In 1999, she began translating contemporary Chinese prose in collaboration with Chen Zeping. Together, they have published more than thirty translations of short stories, novellas, and essays in Chinese Literature, turnrow, Manoa, Conjunctions, Black Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, and Words without Borders. Their book of translations of recent fiction by Can Xue was published in 2006 by New Directions as Blue Light in the Sky and Other Stories. In 2009, Yale University Press published their translation of Can Xue’s novel Five Spice Street. A collection of their translations of stories by Zhang Kangkang, White Poppies and Other Stories, is forthcoming in 2010 from the Cornell East Asia Series. Turnrow Books will publish their anthology, Eleven Contemporary Chinese Writers, in 2010. In addition, they recently translated three books about historic houses for a press in Fuzhou: Home Is Where the Heart Is—A Guide to the Earthen Buildings and Fujian’s Earthen Buildings: The World Heritage in China, both by He Baoguo; and Xiao Chunlei’s Historic Houses of Fujian. Professors Gernant and Chen also translated “Spring,” a libretto by Can Xue for an opera to be performed in 2010 in Munich.

Ronald Janssen

Ron Janssen, Ph.D., is chair of the Department of Writing Studies at Hofstra University and a member of the editorial board of Critical Asian Studies. He was introduced to the work of Can Xue in 1986 by Zhong Ming, a graduate student in his Avant-garde Writing course at East China Normal University in Shanghai. Can Xue’s work was introduced to U.S. readers through the collaborative translations done by Janssen and Jian Zhang in three volumes: Dialogues in Paradise (1989), Old Floating Cloud: Two Novellas (1991), both published by Northwestern University Press, and The Embroidered Shoes (1997), published by Henry Holt.

Jian Zhang

Jian Zhang, Ph.D., an American Council on Education Fellow, is the College Associate Dean for Student Success at Suffolk County Community College, a unit of State University of New York. She came to the United States as a Visiting Scholar from the People’s Republic of China in 1986. Since 1990, she has been teaching English reading and Chinese language at the college. Jian co-translated with Ronald R. Janssen several short stories that were published in Conjunctions and three books of Can Xue’s work: Dialogues in Paradise (1989), Old Floating Cloud: Two Novellas (1991) and The Embroidered Shoes (1997). Her doctoral dissertation “Transactions of U.S. and Chinese College Readers” (1991) compared the American and Chinese reader responses to Can Xue’s short story “Soap bubbles in the Dirty Water” with those to Joyce Carol Oates’ short story “How I Contemplated the World from the Detroit House of Correction and Began My Life Over Again." In her essay “Reading Transaction in Translation,” published in Babel: International Journal of Translation (1997), Jian analyzed her personal reading experience while translating Can Xue’s work. Jian’s manuscript won the 1999 Honorary Award for Outstanding Research Paper Published at the Chinese Reading Research Association’s Annual Outstanding Research Paper Competition in the People’s Republic of China.