Translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain. In this remarkable English debut, award-winning Chinese contemporary poet Ye Lijun offers readers a lyrical diorama of nature and the inner world. By turns intimate and profound, Ye's poems in Fiona Sze-Lorrain's masterful translations make music of everyday silences, and illuminate the invisible openings in our lives. In this vital collection by one of China's essential literary voices, each encounter is an invitation, wherein a village, a nest, a telescope, or a book proves to be a transient guide to the unknown.
"Fiona Sze-Lorrain brings her sense of immediacy, and her lucid control of tone, to these inspired translations of Ye Lijun which capture, with unerring musicality, the rhythms of the original Chinese."--Martha Kapos
"Ye Lijun's quiet, powerful poems accrete from places, memories, affect, and ideas unique to the poet. The distinctiveness of Ye's diction, metaphors, and associations make her imagination and intelligence anchor in ours. We come away from Ye's mountain, her house, her books, her loves, and return to those of our own with our senses made more acute. Translator Fiona Sze-Lorrain, a gifted poet herself, creates an English-language voice for Ye Lijun that has all the grace and surprise of the original."--Thomas Moran
"[T]he joys revealed in My Mountain Country, which bring together a selection of poems from her three books, elegantly translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain, suggest that for an acute observer of the natural world every hour, secret or not, may become an occasion for opening, 'in clarity, ' to the beloved, to nature, to the invisible--leaves and roses and flowering trees that at a moment's notice may awaken in her soul, alerting her once again to the mysterious bounty of life on earth."--Christopher Merrill
"Visceral and enigmatic, Ye Lijun's collection translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain reveals the intimate relationship between man and Nature."--Jennifer Wong, The Asian Review of Books
"The speakers in Ye's poems confront and reflect on the natural world with an intensity that presses right through the images they cast."--PK Eriksson, The Literary Review (Fairleigh Dickinson University)
"As a poet, she is situated in the tradition of those great wanderers who see themselves aging, see themselves amidst change, and wonder if being a part of natural cycles that repeat is an equal permanence to being more steadfast, like the moon. [...] The poems long to be intimate without being too personal, universal without being too global."--Kyle Torke, Colorado Review
"By turns intimate and profound, Ye's poems in Fiona Sze-Lorrain's masterful translations make music of everyday silences, and illuminate the invisible openings in our lives. In this vital collection by one of China's essential literary voices, each encounter is an invitation, wherein a village, a nest, a telescope, or a book proves to be a transient guide to the unknown."--Modern Chinese Literature and Culture Resource Center
"My Mountain Country is one of those rare books that whispers into life many roaring thoughts."--Tim Lantz, The Los Angeles Review
Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women's Studies.
About the Author
Ye Lijun is an award-winning Chinese contemporary poet and author of the poetry books MY MOUNTAIN COUNTRY, translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain (World Poetry Books, 2019), Flower Complex (2014), Passing by Thousands of City Lights in Black Night (2009), and Survey (2005). Ye has received several literary honors in China, including the 2007 Poetry Tour Award. Born in 1972 in Lishui, Zhejiang Province to an impoverished rural family, Ye Lijun is a graduate of the Zhejiang Educational Institute for Professional Art Pedagogy and China Academy of Art. She has worked as a junior high art teacher and arts administrator for intangible cultural heritage. Currently, she resides in her native city Lishui and serves as an editor at Lishui Literature.
Fiona Sze-Lorrain is a fiction writer, poet, musician, translator, and editor. She writes and translates in English, French, and Chinese. She is the author of five poetry collections, most recently Rain in Plural (Princeton, 2020) and The Ruined Elegance (Princeton, 2016), and fifteen books of translation. A finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Best Translated Book Award among other honors, she was a 2019-20 Abigail R. Cohen Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination and the inaugural writer-in-residence at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. She lives in Paris and has performed worldwide as a zheng harpist.