Can Xue, meaning “dirty snow, leftover snow, but also pure snow on the top of a mountain,” is the pseudonym of Deng Xiaohua. She was born in 1953 in Changsha City, Hunan Province; her parents were sent to the countryside during the Cultural Revolution, and she only graduated from elementary school. Can Xue learned English on her own and wrote books on Borges, Shakespeare, and Dante. Her publications in English include Frontier, The Embroidered Shoes, Five Spice Street, Vertical Motion, and The Last Lover, which won the 2015 Best Translated Book Award for Fiction.
Karen Gernant, professor emerita of Chinese history at Southern Oregon University, translates contemporary Chinese fiction in collaboration with Chen Zeping. Among their translations are: Can Xue, Blue Light in the Sky and Other Stories (New Directions, 2006); Can Xue, Five Spice Street (Yale University Press, 2009); Eleven Contemporary Chinese Writers (Turnrow Books, 2010); Can Xue, Vertical Motion (Open Letter Books, 2011); Zhang Kangkang, White Poppies and Other Stories (Cornell East Asia Series, 2011); and Alai, Tibetan Soul (MerwinAsia, 2012).
Chen Zeping, professor of Chinese linguistics at Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, China, has written more than thirty articles and papers for professional journals and international conferences, and has also published numerous books in his field. He has also taught at Southern Oregon University and at Ehime University in Matsuyama, Japan. In 2005, he received a fellowship from the Japan Foundation for the Promotion of Science to present a series of lectures in Japan. He returned there to present lectures in early 2008.
Since 1999, he has also collaborated with Karen Gernant in translating contemporary Chinese fiction into English. Their translations have appeared in Conjunctions, Manoa, turnrow, Chinese Literature, Black Warrior Review, Ninth Letter, and Words without Borders.