Toming Jun Liu

Toming Jun Liu

Toming Jun Liu

Toming Jun Liu is the pen name of Liu Jun. Born in Xi’an, China, Liu is currently a professor in the Department of English at California State University, Los Angeles. Liu has worked as a translator for the United Nations, and has also translated works such as Faulkner’s Light in August into Chinese.

cover image of the book An Empty Room

An Empty Room

by Mu Xin

Translated by Toming Jun Liu

An Empty Room is the first book by the celebrated Chinese writer Mu Xin to appear in English. A cycle of thirteen tenderly evocative stories written while Mu Xin was living in exile, this collection is reminiscent of the structural beauty of Hemingways’ In Our Time and the imagistic power of Kawabata’s palm-of-the-hand stories. From the ordinary (a bus accident) to the unusual (Buddhist halos) to the wise (Goethe, Lao Zi), Mu Xin’s wandering “I” interweaves plots with philosophical grace and spiritual profundity. A small blue bowl becomes a symbol of vanishing childhood; a painter in a race against fading memory scribbles notes in an underground prison during the Cultural Revolution; an abandoned temple room holds a dark mystery. An Empty Room is a soul-stirring page turner, a Sebaldian reverie of passing time, loss, and humanity regained.

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