China Institute

Translating Yu Hua

Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Whitsett Room, Sierra Hall 451 (roof access)

Presented by Prof. Allan Barr
Department of Asian Languages and Literatures
Pomona College



Abstract: Yu Hua (1960-), the author of To Live, Brothers, and China in Ten Words, is one of China’s best-known living authors. It is thirty years since he first began to make an impact on the Chinese literary world and twenty years since his first collection of stories in English translation was published; now is a good moment to take stock of the factors shaping the reception of his work by a Western audience. In this lecture I talk about my collaborations with Yu Hua, the challenges I have encountered when translating his stories and essays, and my role as an intermediary between author and editor.

About the Speaker: Prof. Barr finished his PH.D. dissertation on Pu Songling’s Liaozhai zhiyi (聊齋志異) in Oxford University in 1983. Since the turn of the century, Prof. Barr has become the major collaborator and translator of one of the most impactful writers in contemporary China, Yu Hua. In total, Prof. Barr has translated six books, nine short stories, and numerous essays written by Yu Hua into English.

This lecture is sponsored by CSUN China Institute and the College of Humanities. It is free and open to the public. Campus map is available at this link,, and public parking is available on campus (  Please contact Dr. Weimin Sun at (818-677-6461) for more information.