A celebration of those often overlooked

By Xing Yi in London | China Daily | Updated: 2023-04-22 09:55
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Visitors look at exhibits at the British Library in London. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The exhibition also shows a transnational literary friendship between Ling Shuhua, a modernist Chinese female writer, and Virginia Woolf.

In a letter written in 1938 that is displayed at the exhibition, Woolf encourages Ling's writing, and says: "At last I have read the chapter you sent me … Now I write to say that I like it very much. I think it has a great charm … I feel a charm in the very unlikeness."

And Woolf also gives her advice: "Please go on; write freely; do not mind how directly you translate Chinese into English. In fact, I would advise you to come as close to the Chinese (language) both in style and in meaning as you can."

In 1953, Ling published her autobiography, Ancient Melodies, which reflects her feminist outlook and is dedicated to Woolf.

Once limited to elite literary circles, since the 1930s, the creative output of Chinese writers and artists has grown in popularity and seen mainstream success.

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