A Perilous Journey

Intercultural Communication through Translated Novels

Authored by: Haiyong Liu , Mary M. Garrett*

The Handbook of Communication in Cross-Cultural Perspective

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  August  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138892095
eBook ISBN: 9781315709321
Adobe ISBN: 9781317485605


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In 2008 the English translation of the Chinese novel Lang Tuteng [Wolf Totem] (Jiang, 2004) was released. Although the translated novel received mixed reviews, one common theme among readers and reviewers was that Wolf Totem gave Westerners a sense of what contemporary China is really like.

Yet few books about today’s China can match Wolf Totem as a guide to the troubled self-images of so many of its people as they stumble, grappling with some inconvenient truths of their own, into modernity.

(Mishra, 2008)

[Jiang] Rong’s book is a stirring tale of a boy’s struggle for individuality and offers a piercing insight into how China views itself.

(King, 2008)

[H]is book, which explores themes including the need for a balance between humans and the environment and the impact of Han culture on Inner Mongolia, can arguably tell a foreign reader more about the average Chinese psychology than a tell-all account of a lifetime spent partying, shopping, and sleeping around.

(The publishing deficit, 2005)

Despite Howard Goldblatt’s beautiful translation, I often felt that Wolf Totem was too foreign for me to love. The characters think, behave, and speak in truly Asian ways.

(Gribble, n.d.)

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