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Forms of Distance

Bei Dao

Translated by David Hinton

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This title is available for academic inspection (paperback only).
Paperback
ISBN: 978 0 856462 59 7
Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Published: June 1996
215 x 138 x 8 mm
96 pages
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • Forms of Distance is Bei Dao’s second bilingual collection since his enforced exile from China in 1989. Michael Hofmann described the first, Old Snow, as ‘the work of one of the great poets of our time’, and John Cayley wrote in the Times Literary Supplement that ‘in a sense he is the only contemporary Chinese poet who is knowable for the non-specialist … we can hear the maturing poetic voice of a highly talented, individual Chinese writer.’

    Bei Dao
    Bei Dao (the pseudonym means ‘north island’) was born in Beijing in 1949. Educated into the beliefs of Communist China, his subsequent disaffection found its voice in poetry, for which he has been nominated for the Nobel Prize on several occasions. Since 1989 he has lived first in Europe, then in ... read more
    David Hinton
    David Hinton studied Chinese at Cornell University. His many translations of ancient Chinese poetry have earned wide acclaim for creating compelling English poetry that conveys the texture and density of the originals. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship as well as numerous fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts ... read more
    Praise for Bei Dao 'The language of Bei Dao's memoir, seamlessly translated by fellow poet Yang, is elegantly simple and guilelessly accessible....Winter white cabbage, vinyl records, pet rabbits, banned books, and first and last 'I love yous'€ provide intimate glimpses that 'open up'€ to reveal extraordinary, immediate testimony of challenges survived in a life intensely lived.'
    Booklist of City Gate, Open Up (US edition, published by New Directions)
       'This is a nuanced account of China in the era of the Cultural Revolution, seen through one young man'€s eyes. Since that young man became a poet, it is also beautifully textured, full of the sounds, sights, and scents of a Beijing that is no more.'
    Publishers Weekly of City Gate, Open Up (US edition, published by New Directions)
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