NüVoices Podcast #57: Revolutionary feminism, wuxia, and the politics of translation, with Yilin Wang

Yilin Wang (she/they) is a Vancouver-based writer, editor, Chinese-English translator, educator, and cultural consultant who was longlisted for the 2020 CBC Poetry Prize and a finalist for the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction. Her work engages with topics such as Chinese folklore, martial arts literature (wuxia), diaspora identities, gender expectations, migration, and cultural reclamation. Some of Yilin’s work translating the Chinese revolutionary feminist Qiū Jǐn’s 秋瑾 poetry was recently featured on NüVoices’ website.

In 2018, Yilin spent months travelling around China for research, leading to the launch of the #LiteraryJianghu Project to promote engagement with wuxia and related Chinese literary traditions.

Yilin chats with NüVoices chair Joanna Chiu about the fascinating themes and genres of their work, and about the day-to-day realities and power politics of being a creative writing and translation professional in North America. For further reading from Yilin on racism in Canadian literature, see her Carte Blanche essay here.


Yilin: The wuxia series Legend of Condor Heroes, translated by Anna Holmwood and Gigi Chang and Grace Lau’s debut poetry collection The Language We Were Never Taught to Speak

Joanna: China: The Novel, by Edward Rutterfurd for an immersive narrative approach to learning about 19th century Chinese history, and Yilin’s website!