Michael Juliani with Bonnie Huie on Qiu Miaojin

Michael Juliani with Bonnie Huie
Michael Juliani with Bonnie Huie

 

In this conversation, Michael Juliani and Bonnie Huie discuss Huie’s new translation of Qiu Miaojin’s Notes of a Crocodile,  a coming-of- age novel about a group of queer friends in late 80’s, post-martial-law Taipei, recently released in May 2017 by NYRB Classics. 

Michael Juliani: You said it took a long time to get Notes of a Crocodile into print. I’m wondering if you could describe how you arrived at translating it.

Bonnie HuieI got into translation on a fluke. It was me not putting two things together in my mind. I studied Chinese in college. I used to do more of my own writing, and I showed it to someone from Taiwan who had her first poetry collection published by a very nice indie publisher and she said, “I would love to have an English translation of my book.” And I said, “Sure, I’ll do it.” And as a gift, she gave me books by Qiu Miaojin.