CHRIS GODWIN studied German and Chinese in Edinburgh and Hong Kong. He worked in Hong Kong and China for many years, and now divides his time between England and Beijing. He recently completed the first English translation of Doblin's South American trilogy Land Without Death. His translation of Doblin's historical-philosophical essay "Prometheus and the Primitive" was published on the Brooklyn Rail's InTranslation website in November 2014.
FEB 2015 | Fiction
The session of the High Council which convened on the morrow was unable, through an external circumstance, to give consideration to the Torghut question. Once certain personnel matters which had lain pending for too long had been dealt with, the Emperor was called away to view, together with the Chief Overseer of Eunuchs, the young ladies who had been chosen to replenish the Imperial harem.
Seven Manchu beauties of distinguished family trembled on rugs in the vestibule of one of the Imperial houses of women. The Minister named each of them to the Emperor, who nodded thoughtfully. As each was named she stood up, let fall her milk-white veil, exuded the scent of choice perfumes, lifted her gaze.