Leung Ping-kwan brought as much talent and inspiration to the writing of his short stories as he did to his poems. ‘I have drawn on magical realism to explore the absurdity of Hong Kong,’ he wrote of the story ‘See
Mun and the Dragon’養龍人師門 (1975) in which we find him using a simple, clipped style. The later story ‘Drowned Souls’ (2007) was written in a more symbolic, lyrical and complex manner, influenced by the style of the traditional Chinese tales of the supernatural. Although the two stories are separated by over 30 years,
dragons play a prominent part in both. The dragon has always been a fascinating creature, a complex embodiment of the timeless soul of China and a symbol of the creative energy and transformative possibilities of the Tao. Both of these enchanting stories are anchored in the author’s ideas of freedom and liberation.
Through the keen eyes and curious mind of a young girl, Ying-tzu, we are given a glimpse into the adult world of Peking in the 1920s.
Author Leung Ping-kwan (1949–2013) was born in Guangdong but grew up in Hong Kong. He was one of Hong Kong's most celebrated literary figures and a highly versatile writer, writing mainly in the Chinese language under the pen name Yasee. He taught in the Department of English and Comparative Literature of
the University of Hong Kong, and Leung was Chair Professor of Comparative Literature in the Department of Chinese of Lingnan University. In 2010, he was honoured by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council as the Best Artist of the Year (Literary Arts).
His poetry and fiction have been widely translated into English, French, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, Portuguese, and German.
Translator Wendy Chan is a professor of English at Centennial College in Toronto, Canada. She translated ‘See Mun and the Dragon’ under the author’s supervision at the University of Hong Kong in 1990.
Jasmine Tong Man is a senior lecturer teaching translation at Lingnan University. She received her PhD in Translation Studies in 2001. She has translated Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast trilogy and Amiri Baraka's poetry into Chinese, as well as poems and a short story by Leung Ping-kwan and children's poetry by Wei Ya into English.
David Morgan has translated various Spanish works into English. He studied Chinese in Hong Kong, Buenos Aires and Granada, and has edited two of Jasmine Tong Man’s English translations of Wei Ya’s children's poetry.
Editors Laura Ng is an editor based in Sydney. She first became acquainted with Leung Ping-kwan and his work in Hong Kong in the late 1990’s.
John Minford is Emeritus Professor of Chinese at The Australian National University and Sin Wai Kin Professor of Chinese Culture and Translation at the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong.