The Blue Fox published in Chinese and Sjón at the Bookworm Literary Festival
The Icelandic novel Blue Fox by Sjón was published in Chinese translation by Yilin Press in Nanjing recently. Mrs. Wang Shuhui, a teacher of Icelandic language at Beijing Foreign Studies University, translated the book. Nanjing Press is generally considered as one of the most ambitious publisher of translated literary works in China and the company has previously published a selection of the Sagas of the Icelanders. This is thought to be the first publication of an Icelandic work that has been translated directly from Icelandic to Chinese. A special book launch was held at the Trends Lounge Bookshop in downtown Beijing to celebrate the occasion. Madame Shi Qin‘e, the translator of the Icelandic Sagas, gave an informative address about Icelandic literature in China where she described her recent research. She said that the first Icelandic literary work to be translated into Chinese had been published: the teenage novels about Nonni and Manni by Jón Sveinsson. Madame Shi‘s research has led to the discovery of 200 Icelandic works that have been translated into Chinese, mostly by way of English, Swedish or Russian translations.
Sjón visited China at the same time as the Blue Fox was published upon the invitation of the Beijing Bookworm International Literary Festival. He participated in two forums at the Festival. At the first forum he joined the national poet of Scotland, Liz Locchead, Chinese poet Xi Chuan and American poet Michael Sullivan. All four read ther poems and discussed poetry with the audience afterwards. The second forum was entitled Sjón in conversation where Mr Eiríkur Sturla Ólafsson, a teacher of Icelandic at Beijing Foreign Studies University, interview Sjón. Ambassador Stefán Skjaldarsson invited the Icelandic community in Beijing to come and meet Sjóna at his residence. At that occasion, Sjón read from his new book: Moon Stone. The publication of the Blue Fox is a cooperative project of Yilin Press, the Embassy of Iceland in Beijing and the Icelandic Literature Centre. Sjón’s participation in the Bookworm Literary Festival is a cooperative project of the aforementioned Icelandic partner and the Bookworm, a noted café and bookshop in Beijing, Chengdu and Suzhou.