Carcanet Press Logo
Quote of the Day
an admirable concern to keep lines open to writing in Ireland, Scotland, Wales and America.
Seamus Heaney

Old Snow

Bei Dao

Translated by Chen Maiping and Bonnie S. McDougall

Imprint: Anvil Press Poetry
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Available as:
Paperback (96 pages)
(Pub. Jan 1989)
Out of Stock
  • Description
  • Author
  • Reviews
  • The three sections of Bei Dao’s moving book of poems – ‘Berlin’, ‘Oslo’ and ‘Stockholm’ – are poignant reminders of the restless and rootless life of the exile. All the poems in this bilingual collection were written after Tiananmen Square (4 June 1989), when Bei Dao was away from his Peking home, to which he has so far been unable to return. His poems refer back to this watershed both overtly and in dense images of loss and betrayal. Old Snow confirms Bei Dao’s standing as China’s leading poet.

    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
    Chen Maiping
    Chen Maiping, born in 1952 in Jiangsu, is a Chinese writer and poet, known by the pen name Wan Zhi. He spent the Cultural Revolution years in Inner Mongolia. Returning to Peking, he contributed short stories to Today . He left China for studies in Oslo in 1986, and since ... read more
    Bonnie S. McDougall
    Bonnie S. McDougall is Visiting Professor in the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics at the City University of Hong Kong. She has previously taught at the Universities of Edinburgh, Sydney, Harvard and Oslo. From 2006-8 she was Research Professor in Translation at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. During the ... 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)
Share this...
The Carcanet Blog Some Interpretation: Padraig Regan read more PN Review 262: Editorial read more Rowan Williams: Collected Poems read more John F. Deane: Naming of the Bones read more Vahni Capildeo: Places of Writing read more Jenny Lewis Responds to a Commission for a Poem Against Climate Change for COP26 read more
Find your local bookshop logo
Arts Council Logo
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
This website ©2000-2022 Carcanet Press Ltd