Megan j .Pryce

My Time in Nanting


The content for this book was first written in English, and then translated back and fourth from English to Chinese multiple times. Each translator only had the previous version. The purpose was to see how the text evolves and what gets lost as each person interprets it.

"In a new town, I understand nothing and everything. I know way more and way less than the people who have occupied this space their whole lives. I can't translate the culture or the language so I translate the imagery. The dirty trash can is full of clues. Old women sell vegetables at the market and gossip. I render their purple jumpsuits in my head. Here is a painting of a shirtless boy decaying on the sidewalk. There, another landmark of confetti in a pile of rubbish. The walls make grids that support sun-bleached posters. A mother hen blocks my route. In my town, there are streets and cafes and windows full of clothes. I have no idea where the crack filled with gum is. In this place, I know exactly where the pipes meet and where the river bubbles. At home, I know the color of my house but not of the door."