Talking fiction writing and modern China, with Te-Ping Chen


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Throughout the ten stories in Land of Big NumbersTe-Ping Chen – a founding member of NüVoices  sketches the interior lives of her protagonists who live in (or have connection to) China: a man determined to strike rich in the stock market, a migrant worker employed at a flower shop who is infatuated with a customer, and a government employee being stalked by her ex-boyfriend.

Inspired by her years living in Beijing and Hong Kong as a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, Chen drew upon her travels and the remarkable lives of people she met to construct a world that didn’t fit neatly into news reports.

The debut author speaks with NüVoices chair Joanna Chiu and New York chapter member Megan Cattel on her observations of modern China, the transferable skills of journalism to fiction, and advice on navigating the publishing industry.


Te-Ping: Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thein and Both Ways is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy.

Joanna: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke, Invisible by Paul Auster and The Woo-Woo by Lindsay Wong.

Megan: Notes of a Crocodile by Qiu Miaojin (trans. into English by Bonnie Huie),  I Was Their American Dream by Malaka Gharib and The Wedding Banquet directed by Ang Lee.