A Xiákè in Jiānghú: Wǔxiá Fiction, Translations, and #RacismInCanLit

Mt Wudang photo - YW

“I’m writing a novel in English that’s inspired by wǔxiá fiction.”

As I finished speaking in Mandarin, forty middle school students stared back at me with stunned eyes. It was as if I had suddenly transformed into a xiákè, a wandering warrior, who had stepped out of the pages of a wǔxiá novel and into their classroom in Chóngqìng, China. In reality, I was only a visiting writer and translator, with no martial arts skills or supernatural powers, recently returned to visit the land of my birth.

Gasps and questions continued, becoming louder and louder.

Mrs. Hé shushed her students and turned to me with awe. “Wǔxiá fiction is so rooted in traditional Chinese literature and culture. How can you write wǔxiá in English?”

New Managing Editor: Zoe Shaw!

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We, at carte blanche, are thrilled to announce and welcome our new managing editor: Zoe Shaw! Shaw will be taking on the role of managing editor for our Winter 2020 “Visible/Invisible” (38) issue. Read on to read Shaw’s introductory post. Welcome!

2019 3Macs carte blanche Prize Finalists! Alexei Perry Cox, Maria Camila Arias, Eliza Robertson

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carte blanche is thrilled to announce the 2019 3Macs Prize Shorlist, as selected by juror and 2017 CBC Poetry Prize winner Alessandra Naccarato. The shortlisted writers are Alexei Perry Cox (poetry), Maria Camila Arias (fiction), and Eliza Robertson (fiction)!

Announcing the Longlist for the 2019 3Macs carte blanche Prize & Guest Judge Alessandra Naccarato !

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We, at carte blanche, are delighted to announce that the finalists of this year’s 3Macs Prize will be selected by Alessandra Naccarato! The winner will be announced at the Quebec Writers’s Federation’s Award Gala on November 5, 2019.

The Hakawati and Me: The alarming inability to distinguish between the marginalised author and their fictional characters

The Clothesline Swing

I wonder sometimes if navigating the line between fiction and non-fiction and being steadily clear on which side of this line you’re on is a curse only authors of marginalized backgrounds and identities must balance on. The logic holds because, to my knowledge, non-marginalized authors are not asked about the truth in their fiction or the imagination in their memoirs: No one asks French-Canadian Booker winning author Yann Martel about his experiences living on a boat for 227 days with a tiger and a zebra. No one wonders if Elizabeth Gilbert inserted a bit of fiction into her memoir of eating pasta, practicing Shavasana, and drinking wine with a warm-blooded Latin lover.