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Xue Yiwei's Shenzheners, by Linda Leith

The Shenzhen Economic Daily was preparing a 3-page feature on the publication of Shenzheners, the first of the Chinese-Canadian writer Xue Yiwei's books to appear in English, and I was asked to write about why LLP chose to publish the collection. What follows is the text I wrote, which Yiwei then translated into Chinese.

Report from the Future I: Montreal’s Literary Avant-garde

Letters appear, quickly metamorphose into other letters, creating new words, new meanings, and new stories. A story that might have been set in Brooklyn is transformed on screen into a story about Odessa, and then into another about Berlin.

I catch a line about being “hand in hand on uncertain ground.” It all reminds me of that line of Leonard Cohen’s about a woman “who’s gone and changed her name again.”


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