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Xue Yiwei

Xue Yiwei is an award winning Chinese novelist, short story writer and academic who taught Chinese literature at Shenzhen University. He has a B.Sc. in Computer Science from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, an M.A. in English Literature from Université de Montréal, and a Ph. D. in Linguistics from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. Xue Yiwei now lives in Montreal. While he has published four novels, five collections of short stories plus non-fiction works, Shenzheners is the first of his books to be translated into English.


Celia, Misoka, I

Toronto: Rare Machines, an imprint of Dundurn, 2022.
E-book (Access restricted to members of the university community)

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Set in modern-day Montreal, Celia, Misoka, I is the poignant story of a middle-aged Chinese man who has been living in the city for fifteen years. After the death of his wife, he begins to reflect on his past and how he has ended up alone in Canada, a solitary member of the Chinese diaspora. It is in this period of angst and uncertainty, during the most unusual of winters, that he meets two women by Beaver Lake, on Montreal’s Mount Royal. They, too, have their own stories: stories of their own personal plights, which connect the slopes of Mount Royal at dawn to distant China.

The distinct paths taken by these three characters — Celia, Misoka, and “I” — span continents and decades, but, whether by chance or design, converge in Montreal, like mysterious figures in an ancient Chinese Zen painting. After coming together, the three begin to examine who they are, where they might belong, and how to navigate otherness and identity in a globalized world.


Dr. Bethune’s Children

Translated from the Chinese by Darryl Sterk.
Westmount, Quebec: Linda Leith Publishing, 2017.
PS8646 .U4 B3513 2017

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Dr. Bethune’s Children tells the stories of the offspring of two ordinary families marked by cataclysms both natural and man-made — from the Cultural Revolution to the Tiananmen Square massacre, against a backdrop of the international developments that have rocked everyday life from the Cold War to the emergence of the super power that China is today. Though banned in China, Dr. Bethune’s Children is also hailed as a masterpiece. In focusing on the distress and repression that have marked a whole generation, Xue Yiwei unveils the human heart.

Fiction (Short stories)

Shenzheners: Stories

Translated from the Chinese by Darryl Sterk.
Westmount, Quebec: Linda Leith Publishing, 2016.
PS8646 .U4 S4613 2016

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

The first book in English by acclaimed Chinese-Canadian writer Xue Yiwei, Shenzheners is inspired by the young city of Shenzhen, a market town north of Hong Kong that became a Special Economic Zone in 1980 as an experiment in introducing capitalism to Communist China. A city in which everyone is a newcomer, Shenzhen has grown astronomically to become a major metropolitan centre. Hailed as a Chinese Dubliners, the original collection was named one of the Most Influential Chinese Books of the Year in 2013, with most of the stories appearing in Best Chinese Stories.

Awards and Honours

2017 Blue Metropolis Literary Diversity Prize for a First Publication (Winner)

Fiction (Short stories)

Xue Yiwei and His War Stories: A Collection of Translations and Commentaries

Also issued as Chinese Literature and Culture. Vol. 5 (Dec. 2015).
Translators: Chu Dongwei and Alison Sen Li.
Commentaries: Xiao Liu, Fraser Sutherland, Craig Hulst, Caroline A. Brown, Stephen Nashef, and Amy Hawkins
[Westbury, NY]: IntLingo Inc., 2015.
PL2969.5 .E445 A2 2015

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

This volume features five stories: God’s Chosen Photographer, The True Story of a Family, Winning the First Battle, A Turning Point in History, The Veteran.


Publisher Dundurn Press

Publisher Linda Leith Publishing

Chinese Literature and Culture journal homepage

Xue Yiwei interview by Stephane Lavoie in the Ottawa Review of Books 2 Feb. 2018