The Young Couple

A short story by Shen Congwen – translated by Canaan Morse


Ed: This post is a collaboration with the folk at Paper Republic, a collective of literary translators behind Pathlight magzine. If you haven't heard of either, check them out and you won't regret it. Their more recent initiative is Read Paper Republic, where they have been publishing a Chinese short story in translation every week for a year (on Thursdays), completely free. It's a treasure trove of literary delights, and we're proud to publish the latest story by Shen Congwen (one of my personal favourite Chinese writers). It's a wonderful story, and follow Paper Republic here for more like it. AA


One evening at dinner, Huang, who had moved to X___ village hoping that the quiet would cure his fragile nerves, was feeling helpless in front of a dish of bloody stir-fried chicken his host had made him. Suddenly, he heard a cry from outside: “Come on, come on! Come see what they’ve caught!”


The Book of Changes

Twenty five years in Chinese jazz – by David Moser


Ed: This story is from the Anthill anthology book While We're Here, published today by Earnshaw Books. Join us at the Bejing Bookworm tonight from 7.30pm to celebrate, and the book will be up on Amazon within a month


“What do you miss most about the US?” asked my friend Chen Xin, pouring me another beer.

“Nothing,” I said. It was 1993, and I was living in Beijing, yet even when drunk I was never homesick for America.

“There must be something,” she said, licking the excess foam off my glass.



Anthill book launch: 27 Nov (Beijing Bookworm)


Ants, countrymen, lend me your ears – the moment you didn't realise you've been waiting for has arrived.

The Anthill has been going strong for over three years, and now we're reaching a bit of a climax, with the publication of an anthology of our best stories, While We're Here. On Friday November 27th (from 7.30pm) we're having a big bash at the Beijing Bookworm to celebrate, and we hope the Beijingers among you can join us to drink a glass of mulled wine and have a flip through the book.


Spicy Chicken Sandwich

Fresh blood – fiction by Max Berwald


All morning a cool, hard wind blew out of the north. At noon his phone vibrated against his arm and he sat up in bed and the wind stopped blowing. “Hello?”

“Mr. Zhang?”


“I’m calling from People’s General Health Services in Haidian.”

Chongan nodded, rubbing his eyes. “I already...” He was still high. He scanned the bed but Morgan was gone. No, she’d fallen asleep at Olu’s– he’d gone home without her? “I already picked up my results.”

“I was hoping we could meet for lunch.”


Post Office

A poem by Rob Schackne


In China there's a post office

unmarked on maps, cellar-deep

where you can mail your dreams

(though you might wait for years)


True, they go out without a stamp

or an address, but someone gets them

and you know they get read, even

discussed before they vanish