A book talk with Chen Xiwo

moderated by Harvey Thomlinson

Thursday, March 15, 6 pm | 60 RMB - purchase link

Join us as we welcome author and Fujian Normal University literature professor Chen Xiwo to discuss his award-winning English language debut, The Book of Sins. The Book of Sins is a journey to the dark side of the psyche. Seven novellas probe the relationship between sexual and political dysfunction and corruption, using topics like rape, incest, S&M, impotence, and voyeurism as metaphors for the decay of society. In I Love My Mum, a disabled man who is in an incestuous relationship with his mother, at her demand and using a whip she provides, beats her to death. In Bin Laden’s Kidney, a resident of an exclusive gated community indulges in voyeuristic fantasies about the sex life of his neighbours. In Going To Heaven, the young son of a village undertaker tries to convince his friend to enter a suicide pact. Equal parts terrifying and addictive, this fluent English translation by Nicky Harman has brought a major writer and voice to wider prominence.

This event will be consecutively translated in English and Chinese.


陈希我书谈,主持人Harvey Thomlinson

3月15日(星期四),晚六点 | 60 RMB | BW15-6

我们有幸邀请到福建师范大学文学教授、作家陈希我,讨论他的获奖英文处女作The Book of Sins。本书是一段通往心灵黑暗面的旅程。七则中篇小说探查了性爱与政治失衡及腐败的关系,通过诸如强奸、乱伦、性虐、性功能障碍、偷窥癖等话题隐喻社会的衰败。在I Love My Mum一篇中,一个残疾的男人与自己的母亲有着一段不健康的关系,在她的要求下,用她提供的鞭子,将她鞭打致死。在Bin Laden’s Kidney中,一个居于封闭社区的居民,沉迷于偷窥邻居的性生活的幻想之中。Going To Heaven一篇中,一个乡村殡葬师的小儿子试图说服他的朋友加入自杀协议。该作品令人头皮发麻的同时,也同样令人上瘾,Nicky Harman流畅自如的英文翻译使作者与其风格更为鲜明。


Fujian Normal University literature professor Chen Xiwo has emerged in recent years as one of China’s most notable writers. One recurring terrain in his fiction is sexual and political corruption, and perhaps his most famous novella I Love My Mum uses incest as a metaphor for a dysfunctional society.  Due to Chen’s refusal to compromise about his often controversial writing, it was nearly twenty years before his books could be published in China. He has now published eight major novels and despite his early difficulties Chen’s writing has received widespread recognition in China. One of his novels, Exile won the eighth Huang Chang Xian Literature Prize. Other books, including Irritation which has also been translated into French, helped gain Chen the fourth Fujian Flowers award for outstanding literary works. One of Chen’s most recent books, a story collection called I’m Hurt, was published to great acclaim in 2014. The Book of Sins is published by Make-Do Publishing.

Harvey Thomlinson is known as a translator of independent Chinese writers like Murong Xuecun and Chen Xiwo. Harvey’s translations have also been published in New York Times and the Guardian and his translation of Leave Me Alone, Chengdu was listed for the MAN Asia Literary Prize. His own innovative writing gained a reputation as weird syntax pieces appeared in journals like Exclusive Magazine (US) and Tears on the Fence (UK). Harvey’s novel The Strike was published in January 2018 by Lucid Play, and they will also publish his work-in-progress of many years The Sentence later this year. Harvey also runs Make-Do Publishing, a Hong Kong press which specializes in fiction from Asia.

  • Tickets for BLF 2019 Events

    Due to high demand, we cannot take reservations over the phone or email; please purchase your tickets at The Bookworm Sanlitun or online via Yoopay (click ‘ticket’ on the events page).