Oral histories and family stories with Karoline Kan - SupChina

Oral histories and family stories with Karoline Kan

On the sixth episode of the NüVoices podcast, co-hosts Alice Xin Liu and Sophie Lu interview Karoline Kan 阚超群, a writer and reporter based in Beijing, currently working at the New York Times. Starting this autumn, Karoline will be the Beijing editor for China Dialogue, and her debut book, the memoir Under Red Skies: Three Generations of Love, Loss, and Hope in China, will be published by Hachette in March 2019.

In this podcast, the piece that Alice mentions is “The Unwelcome Villager” in Roads and Kingdoms. Sophie mentions “My Father” from the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel. They talk about Karoline’s writing, the personal essay genre, oral histories, sitting down with your family to tell their story, and how to get a book deal!

For self-care and recommendations, Alice recommends the Awkwafina song “My Vag,” plus her emotional opening monologue for Saturday Night Live; Sophie recommends Travels Through Dali: With a Leg of Ham, by Mei Zhang; and Karoline recommends the as-yet-untranslated My Father’s Generation and Me (我与父辈 wǒ yǔ fùbèi), by Yan Lianke.

We also want to remind everyone that NüVoices is launching its first chapter in North America on Thursday, November 1 in New York, with a panel discussion featuring Leta Hong Fincher (author of Betraying Big Brother: The Feminist Awakening in China and Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China), Rebecca Karl (history professor at NYU and author of multiple books), and Lu Pin 吕频 (feminist activist focusing on strategic advocacy to combat gender-based discrimination and violence). This discussion, moderated by NüVoices chair Joanna Chiu and Alice Xin Liu, will be taped live and broadcast as a future episode. Spread the word, and solidarity!

This podcast is wholly coordinated by the NüVoices board, with production by SupChina. All opinions of guests and presenters belong to the individuals alone and do not reflect the views of NüVoices. Follow them on Twitter at @nvvoices.


NüVoices is an international editorial collective gathering veteran and emerging writers, journalists, translators, and artists to celebrate and support the diverse creative work of self-identified women working on the subject of China.