Chinese Author to Speak on Literature and Censorship

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Chinese author Yan Lianke speaks at Duke Friday.

One of contemporary China’s most celebrated authors, Yan Lianke, will deliver a talk on literature and state censorship at Duke University on Friday, Sept. 25. The talk takes place from noon to 2 p.m. in room 240 at the John Hope Franklin Center, at the corner of Erwin Road and Trent Drive. Yan is the 2014 winner of the prestigious Franz Kafka Prize. He is also among the Chinese authors whose works have been most prominently censored or banned. He will discuss the political, social and cultural dimensions of censorship in contemporary China. Yan’s works in English translation include “Serve the People,” “Dream of Ding Village,” “Lenin’s Kisses,” and, most recently, “The Four Books,” which takes place inside a labor camp for intellectuals during Communist Party Chairman Mao Tse-tung’s Great Leap Forward. “The Four Books” was translated into English by Duke’s Carlos Rojas and was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize. Rojas is an associate professor of Chinese cultural studies, women’s studies and arts of the moving image. The talk is free and open to the public; however, those interested in attending should contact Rojas in advance, c.rojas@duke.edu.