Reception of Yu Hua’s Brothers in the Anglophone World: A Book Review-Based Critical Analysis

Yubin Quan, Huihui Sun, Baorong Wang


This article aims to critically examine the reception of Chinese writer Yu Hua’s epic novel Brothers in the English-speaking world, including chiefly the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, by analyzing 37 English-language book reviews available to the authors. Shortly after the publication of Brothers in English translation in 2009, it received wide critical acclaim primarily for its subject matter along with some negative evaluation and even harsh criticism, particularly regarding its form and language. Meanwhile, the oft-sketchy translation comments included in the reviews themselves also show mixed and even conflicting critical reactions to the English translation. Therefore, much like its reception in China, Brothers has also been critically received with a somewhat controversy in the English-speaking world. It is concluded that while the critical acclaim enjoyed by Brothers would help promote its circulation, the negative comments on the novel itself and on the English version as well would hamper its reception among Anglophone readers.

Keywords: Brothers, Yu Hua, Book Review, Reception, Anglophone World

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