Zhang Yueran


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  • Cocoon follows two friends born in the 1980s who seek to understand the experiences of their parents and grandparents during one of the most turbulent periods in recent Chinese history. Turned amateur detectives, they slowly begin to understand the terrible fate of their grandfathers and uncover the crime that binds their families
  • An upmarket literary mystery, Cocoon delves into the complexity of a crime set during the Cultural Revolution, in one of contemporary China’s most chaotic years
  • The author Zhang Yueran is one of China’s most accomplished young female writers. A literary celebrity since her early twenties, she is a prominent figure in the “post-80” (i.e. born after 1980) generation, known for both her novels and her editorship of the journal Newriting
  • Zhang was named by Unitasmagazine as one of the top 20 Sinophone writers under 40, featured here in Asymptote
  • She is considered the voice of the post-eighties generation of Chinese youth, and her writing is reflective of her generation’s struggle to come to terms with their parents experience during the Cultural Revolution. In Germany, a whole wave of literature was published about the post WWII generation trying to understand their parents’ role in the holocaust – a similar movement is happening in China, but has not made its way into any English translations
  • In 2011, the author participated in the International Writing Program Fall Residency at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA
  • Jeremy Tiang, who will join the School of the Arts Faculty as an adjunct professor in Fall 2021, has won a PEN Translates award from English PEN for his translation from the Chinese of Cocoon (World Editions) by Zhang Yueran
  • Cocoon was published in 2016 and has sold over 150,000 copies in China to date
  • The French edition of the book, re-titled as Le clou, was published by Editions Zulma in France and has received a lot of positive reviews. The novel won the Best Asian Novel of the Prix Transfuge 2019
  • Territories sold: o China: People’s Literature o Taiwan: Ink o South Korea: Mirae N o France: Editions Zulma o Russia: Phantom Press o Netherlands: Prometheus

  • Author

    Zhang Yueran:

    Zhang Yueran is one of China’s most influential young writers. Her novel Cocoon sold more than 120,000 copies in China and has been translated into several languages. In France it was nominated for the Best Foreign Book Prize 2019 and won the Best Asian Novel of the Prix Transfuge 2019. Zhang has been chief editor of Newwriting since 2008 and teaches literature and creative writing at Renmin University in China. She was chosen by Asymptote as one of 20 Sinophone writers under 40 to look out for.

    Jeremy Tiang has translated over twenty books from Chinese, including novels by Shuang Xuetao, Lo Yi-Chin, Yan Ge, Yeng Pway Ngon, Chan Ho-Kei, and Geling Yan. His novel State of Emergency won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2018. He also writes and translates plays. Originally from Singapore, he now lives in New York City.