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Can Xue, translated from the Chinese by Karen Gernant and Chen Zeping

CAN XUE, meaning “dirty snow, leftover snow,” is the pseudonym of Deng Xiaohua. Born in 1953, in Changsha City, Hunan province, her parents were sent to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution, and she only graduated from elementary school. Can learned English on her own and has written books on Borges, Shakespeare, and Dante. Her publications in English include Dialogues in Paradise, Old Floating Cloud, The Embroidered Shoes, Blue Light in the Sky and Other Stories, and most recently, Five Spice Street.


KAREN GERNANT, professor emerita of Chinese history at Southern Oregon University, and CHEN ZEPING, professor of Chinese linguistics at Fujian Teachers’ University, collaborate on translating, and more than thirty of their translations have appeared in literary magazines. This is their tenth book.

The Roses at the Hospital

When I was at home, I always heard people mention “Gao-ling.” I got the impression that it was a hill, with several long, narrow little streets leading to it. On the hilltop was this city’s largest hospital. People said that Gaoling wasn’t far from my home.

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The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2021

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