The translation of works by African authors into Chinese is on the rise.
Bruce Humes, an American linguist and Chinese literary translator, notes on his blog that there are currently 238 translations of works by African authors into Chinese — an increase of 63 percent since early 2018, when there were 146 titles in translation.
An avid reader and language learner, Humes began maintaining a list of African writing in Chinese translation after spending time in Tanzania where he studied Swahili. In a 2019 interview with Quartz Africa, Humes noted that Chimamanda Adichie was “by far the hottest African writer among Chinese fans,” with all six of her books translated into Chinese.
That year, Brittle Paper also shared Humes’s list of 66 African authors translated into Chinese. The list has since grown to include 100 African authors.
Notable 2020 additions include My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite, Memoirs of a Porcupine by Alain Mabanckou, and African Literature: An Anthology of African Literary Criticism and Theory, edited by the late Tejumola Olaniyan and Ato Quayson.
Humes reports that Zhejiang Business University Publishing House will be publishing at least eight fiction and non-fiction titles by African authors in 2021. These include:
- L’Aventure ambiguë (Ambiguous Adventure) by Cheikh Hamidou Kane （《模棱两可的冒险》）
- Les Soleils des Independances (The Suns of Independence) by Ahmadou Kourouma （《独立的太阳》）
- Anowa by Ama Ata Aidoo（《阿诺瓦》）
- Stories from a Shona Childhood by Charles Mungoshi （《修纳儿童故事集》）
- The History of the Yorubas by Samuel Johnson （《约鲁巴历史》）
Read more about other works by African authors that have been translated into Chinese here.