Fan Wen (范稳) is a Kunming-based Catholic author of several novels based on the history of the 19th- and 20th-century interaction of foreigners, Han and several indigenous ethnic groups in the areas bordering on Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet. They include: a trilogy, Harmonious Land (水乳大地), Pitiful Land (悲悯大地), and Canticle to the Land (大地雅歌); and more recently, Bisezhai Station (碧色寨), about the Frenchmen and the Chinese who built the railway (1904-10) linking Kunming and Haiphong, which reportedly resulted in the deaths of many thousands of railway workers.
Harmonious Land tells the tale of a multi-ethnic settlement in Lancangjiang Canyon — gateway to Tibet — beset by battles between arrogant French Catholic missionaries, incompetent Han officials and their marauding troops, Naxi Dongba Shamanists, and the dominant Tibetans, not all of whom lead pacific, vegetarian lives in the local lamasery.
This first volume in the trilogy has been translated into French as Terre de lait et de miel by Stéphane Lévêque.
An excerpt from the third volume, Canticle to the Land, has been translated by Bruce Humes: The Creation Story.
Where to find Fan Wen online
Land of Mercy
by Fan Wen
Land of Mercy is a magical intriguing tale of love, greed, betrayal, sacrifice and spiritual quest which starts from the conflict between two prominent families living beneath the snow mountain of Eastern Tibet and ends in a journey in pursuit of personal salvation, self-worth and enlightenment. It is Tibet encapsulated in a novel.
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