The Common, in collaboration with guest editor Cleo Qian, will publish a special online folio of work about youth and contemporary culture from writers with a strong tie to Mainland China. Submissions will open on February 1st.
For the rest of the world, China’s 2008 Summer Olympics—with its $40 billion budget, dramatic “Bird’s Nest” stadium, and the lavish spectacle of its opening ceremony—marked the ascension of a new economic superpower onto the modern stage. Since then, new generations of Chinese youth have come of age into a society constantly rippling with changes, inundated with globalization, technology, and consumerism. The West continues to view China with curiosity, suspicion, and a sense of enigma as the country rapidly industrialized and urbanized, and its economic and political influence continues to shift. Yet Chinese literature translated into English is still predominantly written by older authors from the period of WW2, Maoism, and the Cultural Revolution, while neglecting the up-and-coming generation of Chinese artists, now dealing with wholly different lifestyles and sets of concerns.