Old Land, New Tales: Twenty Short Stories by Writers of the Shaanxi Region in China

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Old Land, New Tales: Twenty Short Stories by Writers of the Shaanxi Region in China
Preface
    L EI T AO
    Let Literature Fly through the Blue Sky and White Clouds
    As the spiritual secret history of a nation, literature (especially novels and short fiction) is the product of many communications and collisions. This evidence of spiritual life is valuable not only to a particular nation, but to the civilized society of the whole of humanity. From the May Fourth Movement to today, many international literary works have been translated and introduced into China, resulting in an evolution in Chinese literary aesthetics. Beyond style, readers discover the world’s diverse visions and virtues through literature. Meanwhile, works of many Chinese writers have now been translated into a wealth of other languages, helping readers around the world understand the current diverse spiritual and ethical pursuitsof the Chinese nation. This mutual exchange is a pillar of the international community.
    The reforms of new China have opened the country’s borders to many new and diverse channels for cultural exchange. Chinese writers are now finding broader aesthetic communities through translation—and, with this exposure, finding confidence to explore new territory.
    Seated in central China, the Shaanxi region is one of the cradles of Chinese civilization. The province’s principal city and current capital, Xi’an, is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, which leads to Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, and Africa—making Shaanxi a longtime hub of cultural exchange, both within China and overseas. With the reform of new China as its inspiration, the Shaanxi Writers Association of China’s Literature Translation Special Committee started the SLIP program in 2008 to introduce and popularize outstanding works by Shaanxi authors.
    The members of the Shaanxi Writers Association and Provincial Translation Association reached out to local literature and translation circles, seeking stories that reflect Shaanxi writing in all its diversity and richness. The twenty tales selected for this book represent the standard and style of contemporary writers from the old but civilized land of Shaanxi. This community of writers, defining Shaanxi literature as a unified school, includes many winners of national awards, including the Mao Dun Literature Award, the Lu Xun Literature Award, the Bing Xin Literature Award, and the Stallion Award.
    The sky of literature is vast and blue, and it is a realm full of hope and fantasy. Writers dream of adding wings to their works, to watch them fly through the blue sky and white clouds of the heavens. It is my hope that through reading these stories by conscientious writers and lovers of life, we might help drive forward the peaceful development of the world, linking human progress acrosscultures from the ancient perspective of this province in the heart of China.
    We are under the same blue sky, and we have the same destination. This is the home to literature and also the source of our strength.

----
    Lu Yao

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