Translated Chinese Fiction

Reading Mo Yan’s novella ‘Radish’1 min read

An episode of the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast

“As the boy’s thoughts wandered, the purple and green leaves turned into autumn well water, and then the jute became water, while sparrows skimming the tips of the jute plants were transformed into green kingfishers snapping up tiny shrimp from the water’s surface.”

In this episode of the Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast, Angus Stewart is joined by translator Lehyla Heward to discuss Mo Yan’s novella Radish (透明的红萝卜, trans. Howard Goldblatt). Mo Yan is, of course, a Nobel-winning novelist, author of The Garlic Ballads and Red Sorghum. Read more about his background and career in the long translated essay we published at the China Channel last year. Radish, like much of Mo’s work, is set in Cultural Revolution-era rural China, where a countryside work team is joined by the strange, silent protagonist Heihai, who seems indifferent to pain and has an affinity for the titular root. Listen on: