CATHERINE CHIN writes:
I was born and grew up in Hong Kong and have the advantage of bilingual education. When I worked as a translator of literature, mainly from English to Chinese, I met many famous writers and poets. The Canadian poet Michael Bullock asked me to translate his work. His book "The Walled Garden", translated by me, was published in Kwangsi,China in 1998 (with a grant from the Canada Council). The book was a sold-out success. I have also won prizes for translation in Taiwan (梁實秋文學翻譯獎) for two years.
I was first encouraged to write by Professor Yu Kuang Chung (余光中教授). Many of my poems were published in the "Blue Star" (藍星詩刊), a well-known poetry magazine of Taiwan, edited by Professor Yu. Mr. Liu Yi Chang (劉以鬯), the famous novelist and editor, also encouraged me by publishing my poems and short stories in his magazine "Hong Kong Literature" (香港文學). I have also published short stories, poems and articles in Hong Kong newspapers. Some of my work is collected in the Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong Literature Room (http://hkclweb.hkpl.gov.hk), under my pen name Zhang Jian (章簡).
I began to take a serious look into Buddhism several years ago. Brought up under the British Colonial system, I was educated in a Christian high school and then took a B.A. in English Literature at theUniversity of London. My sincere desire to investigate my own cultural background is understandable. I must admit that Buddhist thinking has influenced me: I am more in touch with my own subconscious. I feel more in control of myself, and therefore, of my world. Although I am mainly interested in Chinese Buddhism (Zen), I also find Tibetan Buddhism very intriguing. When I came to read about Milarepa, I was fascinated and started to write my own story of the great Yogi. The result is my new book, "Mila the Magician".
Hong Kong 2013
CATHERINE SPOKE AT THE PROVERSE READERS' CLUB, 7 May 2016, about her bilingual tale, Mila the Magician, set in Tibet. She explained that she wrote this "magic story" in English first, and then did her own translation into Chinese. As a trained translator, she says she found the work of translation, "rather natural".
In response to a question, she stated that, in Tibet, magic powers were not valued for their own sake, but to demonstrate status.
An edited video of Catherine's session has been uploaded to youtube. To view it, copy and paste the following to your browser window: https://youtu.be/DQlKe9sKJnw
Mila the Magician tells the adventures of a young man, Mila, who leaves home to learn black magic. After overcoming many difficulties, he becomes a powerful sorcerer.
An adventure story; it is also a tale of revenge, as it delves into the psychology and ramifications of vengeance.
Mila is motivated by the desire to take revenge against his evil uncle and aunt, who have robbed him of his inheritance and left his mother and sister destitute. But successful revenge does not make Mila happy. He is deeply remorseful as he has harmed many innocent people. In penitence, he turns to Buddhism, and eventually he becomes a great saint.
This tale of magic is not completely imaginary; it follows the traditional beliefs and folklore of Tibet. The narration has a Buddhist perspective; loosely based on the early life of the great Tibetan saint Milarepa (11th C. AD).
It is not a biography; but an entertaining story set inTibet, with its beautiful scenery and rich culture.
This is a good story told in magnificent prose, interposed with poetry, and the result is exquisite. Evidently, the author has talent, wit, even genius. She has made good use of her own life experience, writing fluently and vividly, to create this very special novel. In a humane way, she makes a thorough inquiry, probing and leading us into a realm of mystery and religious complexes. The reader's curiosity is immediately aroused and his attention engaged. The total effect shows that the author has fulfilled her design. Everyone should take notice, for this book has value.
To know more about Proverse, submitting a publishing proposal to Proverse, and/or entering for the international Proverse Prize for unpublished book-length non-fiction, fiction or poetry and/or the international Proverse Poetry Prize, browse the Proverse website: http://www.proversepublishing.com or take a look at the publishers' pages which are included in most Proverse books.
To be put on the free E-Newsletter list, email info[AT]proversepublishing.com, subject line "E-Newsletter subscription request".
FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES OR TO ARRANGE AN AUTHOR'S VISIT to your school, club or reading-group, or to speak or meet with any other interested audience, please email: Proverse at: info[AT]proversepublishing.com
To visit or return to the Proverse Hong Kong homepage, please see: Proverse Hong Kong Proverse Publishing.
Copyright Proverse Hong Kong Proverse Publishing