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DKU Intercultural Book Club

The DKU Intercultural Book Club is hosted by Austin Woerner in partnership with the Duke Kunshan University Library.

Each session the Book Club will choose one book to read in both English and Chinese. Read in whichever language you prefer and come ready to discuss your reactions to the book with other readers who may have experienced it in the other language!

Up next!

(click or scroll down to Events for more info)

DKU Intercultural Book Club

View book club events on Duke Kunshan Engage

 

Events


Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha
Sep
6
3:30 PM15:30

Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

赫尔曼·黑塞,《悉达多》

Champion: Yolanda Ling 凌嘉阳

Get it in English (print) Recommended translation: Hilda Rosner

Read it on Kindle

购买中文版(推荐的译本:姜乙)

➤ 中文电子版可在微信读书上阅读

Siddhartha, the son of a venerable Brahman, leaves his home on a journey in pursuit of "atman" (the innermost part of oneself). His spiritual quest leads him to the river, where at last he learns to unite his two selves: the individual and subjective; and the sacred and eternal. This beautifully-written book was written by Hesse after World War I, and some people see it as the cure for the wounded heart of a people who went through war, encouraging them to face their true selves and seek the beauty in their lives. —Yolanda Ling

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Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood
Oct
11
3:30 PM15:30

Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

村上春树,《挪威的森林》

Champion: Charlotte Jiang 蒋千蘅

Get it in English (print) Recommended translation: Jay Rubin

Read it on Kindle

购买中文版 (推荐的译本:林少华)

Watanabe is immersed in the sorrow of his best friend Kitsuki’s suicide, which brings him into contact with Naoko, Kitsuki’s girlfriend who is also bereft. Later Watanabe meets Mitoriko, a lively, cheerful girl whose personality is completely opposite Naoko's. Watanabe cannot decide between the two girls, and his loss and confusion force him to grow as a person. This book, one of Murakami's most famous works, tells a story of loneliness: how a man comes out of the shadow of the past and gains the courage to face a brand-new life. —Charlotte Jiang

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Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five
Nov
8
3:30 PM15:30

Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five

库尔特·冯内古特 ,《五号屠场》

Champion: Kevin Sprague

Get it in English (print)

Read it on Kindle

购买中文版 (推荐的译本:虞建华 )

Slaughterhouse Five is a wickedly funny satirical sci-fi novel with one of the most famous opening lines in English  literature. Billy Pilgrim becomes unstuck in time, survives World War II, and spends time in an alien zoo. This is a classic must read from one of America's funniest novelists. —Kevin Sprague

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Arthur Waley, Monkey / excerpts from Journey to the West
Dec
6
3:30 PM15:30

Arthur Waley, Monkey / excerpts from Journey to the West

吴承恩,《西游记》节选

Champion: Undecided

Get it in English (print)

Read it on Kindle

➤ 亚瑟·韦利的《Monkey》是《西游记》的删节本,想读中文版的朋友们可以只读原作的1-15回、18-19回、第22回、第37-39回、第44-49回和第98-100回,这些章节对应《Monkey》里面的内容。

Wu Cheng’en’s Journey to the West, one of China's four great classic novels, is a picaresque adventure that follows a monkey, a pig, an ogre, and a monk as they travel west seeking sacred Buddhist scriptures; Arthur Waley's abridged translation, Monkey, is considered one of the most entertaining and readable translations of a Chinese classic novel.  Since the Chinese original is extremely long, those who wish to read the Chinese version can just read the chapters that correspond to the ones Waley translated.

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Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories
Apr
12
3:30 PM15:30

Ryunosuke Akutagawa, Rashomon and Seventeen Other Stories

芥川龙之介,《罗生门》(小说文集) 林少华 译

Champion: Rachel Tan

Buy it in English (Taobao)

Buy it as an ebook (Amazon)

购买中文版(淘宝)

读电子版(微信读书)

One's of Japan's early modernist writers and "father of the Japanese short story," his atmospheric short works include the story that was the basis of the movie Rashomon.  Rachel Tan, who nominated this book, writes: "His writing style is delicate... [and] melancholy, the feeling of a Japanese man who lived in the late Meiji period. His style is very uncanny and lonely." The English translation is by Jay Rubin, Haruki Murakami’s translator.

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Book Club Field Trip: Hao Jingfang @ Shanghai Lit Fest
Mar
23
12:00 PM12:00

Book Club Field Trip: Hao Jingfang @ Shanghai Lit Fest

Moderated by Austin Woerner

▶ Official event description

Hao Jingfang is one of China’s most celebrated younger science fiction authors. Her novella “Folding Beijing” won the 2016 Hugo Award, making her the second Chinese author to do so, after Liu Cixin.

To reserve a spot with me on this field trip, please RSVP to me directly (on WeChat). A limited number of free tickets will be available for students. (Students will cover of the cost of their own high-speed rail tickets in and out of Shanghai.)

Buy Invisible Planets (Chinese sci fi anthology, includes Hao Jingfang’s “Folding Beijing” and “Invisible Planets”) (T-Mall)

➤ Read Hao Jingfang’s novella “Folding Beijing” online (Uncanny magazine)

➤ Read Hao Jingfang’s short story “The Lonelist Ward” online (Clarkesworld magazine)

购买郝景芳作品集 (天猫,纸质版)

➤ 郝景芳的全部作品可以在掌阅app上阅读

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Book Club Field Trip: Jin Yucheng @ Shanghai Lit Fest
Mar
16
10:00 AM10:00

Book Club Field Trip: Jin Yucheng @ Shanghai Lit Fest

Moderated by Qiu Xiaolong and Austin Woerner

▶ Official event description

Jin Yucheng’s online novel written in Shanghai dialect, Fan Hua (“Blossoms”), won the 2015 Mao Dun Prize for Literature and triggered a surge of interest in dialect literature.

To reserve a spot with me on this field trip, please RSVP to me directly (on WeChat). A limited number of free tickets will be available for students. (Students will cover the cost of their own high-speed rail tickets in and out of Shanghai.)

购买金宇澄的《繁花》(天猫,纸质版)

➤ 金宇澄的《繁花》可以在掌阅app上阅读

Note: Jin Yucheng’s work is currently not available in English.

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Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
Feb
15
3:30 PM15:30

Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time

马德琳·英格 ,《时间的皱纹》廖丽 译 

Champion: Tim Smith

Borrow it from the DKU Library! (Available in Chinese, English, ebook, print, and graphic novel format!)

Buy it in English (Taobao)

Buy it as an ebook (Amazon Kindle)

Buy it as an ebook (Amazon China - Kindle)

购买中文版(淘宝)

购买中文电子书 (亚马逊)

Meg is the eldest child of two eccentric scientists, one of whom has been missing for years. When her precocious younger brother Charles Wallace invites some very peculiar people into their house on a stormy night, Meg is drawn into a fantastical quest to find her vanished father. This book is a very well-known novel that many Americans read as children or teenagers.

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Lu Xun, Short Stories
Jan
18
3:30 PM15:30

Lu Xun, Short Stories

《鲁迅小说全集》 The Real Story of Ah Q and Other Tales of China, tr. Julia Lovell

Champion: Lin Haitong

Buy it in English (Taobao)

Buy it as an ebook (Amazon Kindle)

购买中文版 (淘宝)

读电子版 (微信读书)

Early 20th-century satirist Lu Xun is known as the “father of modern Chinese literature,” and he is required reading in Chinese high schools. However, though his work is much admired here, few people outside of China have read it. Julia Lovell, the translator of Lu Xun's short stories, is an excellent prose stylist, so this promises to be a pleasurable read for the English speakers among us — and for our Chinese readers, it will be a chance to share a familiar touchstone.

Note: We will not read all the stories in this collection. The stories we plan to read and discuss are these nine:

  • 故乡 “My Old Home,” 祝福 “New Year’s Sacrifice,” 孔乙己 “Kong Yiji” (these are required reading in Chinese textbooks, and are important cultural touchstones)

  • 阿Q正传 “The Real Story of Ah Q,” 狂人日记 “Diary of a Madman,” 药 “Medicine” (these three are not included in textbooks but are some of Lu Xun’s most famous works)

  • 头发的故事 “Hair,” 孤独者 “The Loner,” 在就楼上 “Upstairs in the Tavern”

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Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
Dec
7
3:30 PM15:30

Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep

雷蒙德·钱德勒 ,《长眠不醒》 (傅惟慈 译)

Buy it in English (Taobao)

购买中文版(淘宝)

In the lawless world of 1930s Los Angeles, an eccentric millionaire hires private detective Philip Marlowe to look into the affairs of his two strange and beautiful daughters. This book is an icon of detective fiction, and in English the writing is lovely. Fu Weici 傅惟慈, who also translated The Moon and Sixpence, is a highly regarded literary translator, and the Chinese edition comes highly recommended.

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Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem (Part 1)
Nov
9
3:30 PM15:30

Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem (Part 1)

刘慈欣,《三体》第一部

Liu Cixin, The Three-Body Problem (Part 1), translated by Ken Liu

Liu Cixin is probably the most well-known Chinese science fiction author, and one of the first to attain major international acclaim. Part 1 of his trilogy The Three-Body Problem, translated into English by science fiction author Ken Liu, won the 2015 Hugo Award for Best Novel, and the trilogy has become an international bestseller.

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Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea
Oct
19
3:30 PM15:30

Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea

Ursula K. LeGuin, A Wizard of Earthsea (part 1 of the Earthsea Cycle)

厄休拉·勒古恩,《地海传奇》第一部:《地海巫师》

(中文译本:蔡美玲 译 ~ 马爱农 / 周莉  译

Ursula Le Guin, who passed away this year, is one of the most famous writers of fantasy fiction in English. She is best known for her Earthsea series (地海传奇) and her science fiction novels The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed. Much of her writing has feminist themes, and she was heavily influenced by Daoism (道家思想) and cultural anthropology. The first novel in the Earthsea series, The Wizard of Earthsea, is a hero narrative about a young wizard coming of age.

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Jin Yong, Legend of the Condor Heroes (Part 1)
Sep
21
3:30 PM15:30

Jin Yong, Legend of the Condor Heroes (Part 1)

金庸,《射雕英雄传》第一册

Jin Yong, Legend of the Condor Heroes, Part 1: A Hero Born (tr. Anna Holmwood)

Legend of the Condor Heroes is one of the most widely read novels by one of the most widely read and well-loved authors in the Chinese language. Jin Yong is considered the father of  武侠 wuxia (martial arts) fiction and I have met very few younger Chinese people who did not devour his writing as a teenager. Anna Holmwood's translation of A Hero Born is the first authorized translation of this "Chinese Tolkien" into English. 

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