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Chinese literature gets boost from new book club

By YANG YANG | China Daily | Updated: 2021-09-09 08:11

Chinese Literature Readers' Club was recently launched in Beijing in a bid to promote the country's literature around the world.

Initiated by China Writers Association, literature organizations and Chinese literature lovers overseas, this club will provide a platform for communication about, and the exchange of, literature from home and abroad.

Speaking at the launch ceremony in August, Tie Ning, head of China Writers Association, said that reading, appreciating and exchanging ideas about literary works from a country will help to break through ignorance, isolation and prejudices, enabling people to not be blinded by stereotypical views and really be able to understand a country's historical origins, cultural context, social development and philosophical ideas.

She added that it also allows people to spiritually get close to, and understand, the rich emotional world of the people there and their vibrant life, and to feel that "we are all a part of a community with a shared future for mankind".

Chinese literature has a history of "several thousand years", including countless jewels that can be called an inheritance of human civilization-poems, essays, fiction and plays-that can be kept as permanent memories, as well as excellent modern and contemporary works that can arouse empathy in readers around the world, she said.

However, few Chinese writers are really known by readers in other countries, apart from those who have won international literary awards, she noted.

"It is, therefore, our common cultural mission to establish Chinese Literature Readers' Club to introduce Chinese literature to the world, and to increase the mutual understanding and friendship between different peoples," Tie said.

The clubs in different countries will build a bridge for overseas readers to get in touch with contemporary Chinese literature and its writers. They will organize events, both online and in-person, through local educational institutions, publishing houses, libraries, traditional media and social media networks.

CWA will provide the latest information about Chinese literature to clubs, recommend excellent works, help to organize literary events and provide opportunities for readers to visit and experience China.

With translation into local languages and the interpretation by local readers, Chinese literary works will gain a fuller life by communicating with different cultures, Tie says.

Contemporary Chinese literature covers extensive topics about space exploration, education, urban development, family ethics, cultural identity, gender equality, medicine, poverty alleviation and environmental protection. Many of these topics concern the problems that are common in every country, especially during the process of modernization in developing countries.

"Chinese literary works full of humanistic care are the gift of Chinese writers to international readers and also an invitation of friendship", Tie adds.

So far, the club has set up branches in 12 countries-Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey, Iran, Russia, Poland, Serbia, Germany, France, Britain and Chile.

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