Thursday, July 28, 2011

The China Issue (Asian Cha)

China: a large country in East Asia. One of the world's oldest civilizations. An emerging superpower. A country in a state of transformation...

Asian Cha now devoted a theme issue to capturing a sense of this complexity, to provide a view of what a few people, both Chinese and non-Chinese, think of this multi-faceted and remarkable country at this fascinating juncture in history: The China Issue.

"In these works, you will see a handful of microscope slides, cross-sections of the contemporary Middle Kingdom, which when read together will hopefully provide a glimpse of the whole."

The issue includes a rich and varied range of formats: Poetry and Poetry in translation, Fiction and Fiction in translation, Creative non-fiction, Art and art criticism, and an interview with Pallavi Aiyar, author of "Chinese Whiskers". And: a fine selection of book reviews, which for this issue are all related to China. The list of contributors is online at Cha, it reaches from Ai Weiwei to Zhen Lianjie.

Two thoughtful editorials form the starting point to the issue: "The Chinese Curse" by guest editor Mai Mang, and "China: What it is, what it could be" by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, who writes: "It is exactly because the country has become more confident and influential globally that we are interested in publishing a special issue of Cha devoted to the social, political and cultural forces that are shaping the nation. It is not an exaggeration to think that the once self-proclaimed "Middle Kingdom" is now coming back apt as ever as a metaphor to describe its current self-identified position in relation to the rest of the world. China is what it is or perhaps more accurately it is a near infinity of realities and possibilities."

A note: the Cha website is currently experiencing technical difficulties. You can also find an introduction to the issue + the editorials in the Cha blog.

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