Fangirling Chinese Novels

Together Forever (至此终年) — Introduction and Prologue



The announcement of my next project. :) This one actually won’t start until Beautiful Bones is done in approximately mid-October, but consider me an eager beaver.😉

My ramblings are at the beginning and the translated prologue is at the end of this post as a little teaser.

A student and her university professor. But she had seen him once before, long before he was ever her teacher. Back then, she was still only thirteen years old. He wore a white doctor’s coat as he spoke harshly to her, on that night that changed both their lives forever. And now, they have somehow managed to find one another again, and they bring warmth and love into each other’s lives.

I won’t give you a longer description on this novel. My spoiler-riddled thoughts are all over its page on SSB, so if you don’t mind being spoiled, you can head over there for more details.


This is yet another novel by Mo Bao Fei Bao, my favourite author, and once again, is different from her novels that I have already translated on this blog. Really, Really Miss You is a novel for you to escape into just pure happiness. Every girl has fantasized about her idol declaring to the world that he loves only her. In Beautiful Bones, although the romance’s progression feels down-to-earth, the story itself intrigues the imagination with the reincarnation theme and the eerie family background of Zhousheng Chen.

Together Forever, however, is firmly grounded in everyday life and reality. Our female lead, Tong Yan, is outgoing and optimistic and at first glance, you would not know she came from a broken family. Life has not been kind to her, and she shoulders many responsibilities. But there are many Tong Yan-s in this world. In fact, I see parts of myself in her. The male lead, Gu Pingsheng, is also an unsung “everyday hero.” I won’t reveal here why this is so, but Mo Bao Fei Bao created him specifically to honour real people from real life who have sacrificed themselves for others. This is what I wrote in SSB about these two:

Life has thrown a good share of unfairness at the both of them. The author does not use many words to describe their emotional turmoil, though (especially Gu Pingsheng). Often, it’s an almost nonchalant one-liner description of the situation or a small minute gesture that gives away the pain. As a reader, I would read it almost just as nonchalantly as it was written, but then, upon second thought, realize the significance of what was written… The author slowly releases more and more background about each of them, and each time, my heart would ache a little bit more. And that heartache just seemed to build until I realized how emotionally invested I was in their lives.

This story, though, is not about life’s difficulties. Rather, it is about how two people, who have had a good amount of hardships in their lives, come together and bring warmth and love to one another. They don’t cry, “Why me?” or wallow in self-pity, but instead, they try to create the best life they can have. Yes, you will feel heartache and cannot help but pray that things will turn around for them, but more so, you will smile for them because they are smiling in their circumstances.

Mo Bao Fei Bao, who does screenwriting and then writes novels on the side, says her inspiration for her novels is her own life, a way to journal what she wants to remember. In one of her earlier novels, 念念不想忘 the female lead, also a screenwriter who wrote novels on the side, described how she viewed novel writing:

“If you look at the painful aspects, then the pain will unconsciously be magnified. If you only look at the happy aspects, then your happiness meter will explode upward.”

This is so characteristic of Mo Bao Fei Bao’s writing, and this story very much demonstrates it. It is real, but it does not feel angst-y. The couple is sweet… and it is a happy ending. (Of course! I only do happy endings.)

Really, Really Miss You brought you the cute, sweet side of Mo Bao Fei Bao’s writing while Beautiful Bones showed off her beautiful, exquisite, atmospheric writing. Here, you will read about wonderful, well thought-out characters. They are not perfect, and you may not necessarily agree with all their decisions, but I connected emotionally with them and I hope you do, too.

Together Forever was the first Mo Bao Fei Bao novel I read and instantly made me a fan. It holds a very special place in my heart, largely because of the emotional connection I felt as I read the novel. I have delayed translating this one time and again because, even though it’s not as challenging as Really, Really Miss You‘s online slang and ancient-style songs or Beautiful Bones‘ ancient language, more than anything, I just want to get this one “right.”

So, consider this early announcement for the project my way of working myself up to it… and also committing to it before I back down again. (And also, in celebration of MBFB’s fan club’s anniversary, I posted this translated prologue on Weibo, so I wanted to make sure you guys here got to read it, too. I can’t play favourites, you know. Hehe.)

(As an aside, the couple in this story did have a teacher-student romantic relationship, so if that is a trigger point for you, I will forgive you if you give it a pass. *cough cough* Peanuts *cough cough* In all honesty, the teacher-student part of their relationship really only plays a small part of the overall story.)

And now, the translation!




“I graduated from King’s College London. I will be with you for an entire semester. You may call me ‘Teacher’ or you may also directly address me as Gu Pingsheng.” He gripped the chalk loosely and on the blackboard, wrote out his name. The morning sunlight shone in through the window and seemed to envelop that light-colored figure. “I cannot hear. If you have a question, please face me and I will watch your lips and eyes to read what you say.”

His voice had a slight mellow tone and was clear, bright, and gentle.

Everyone looked at him with sense of rue, and even their breathing fittingly became lighter.


King’s College London. One of the top three law schools in the United Kingdom.

Prior to this Teacher Gu’s arrival, all the teachers in the Law Faculty were either full suit-wearing pedants who had come back from studying at Waseda University in Japan or were American PhDs, dressed in sport coats on top but paired ridiculously with jeans and sneakers on bottom, returning from Yale or something similar.

From a London university? This was a first.

All the third year law courses had switched over to teach international law using English, and many were looking forward to having this teacher, who would be the only one who had actually returned from London. They had wondered whether he would be gentlemanly, elegant and modest, or quiet and refined. His appearance, though, was somewhat not what they had expected.


The way he held the chalk between his fingers was very attractive, like a surgeon holding his scalpel. Of course, it was one of those glamorized surgeons from a television drama. He was very young, much younger than expected. He was wearing a soft, stylish white dress shirt and trousers, and his sleeves were rolled up so that a tattoo could faintly be seen on his arm…

One who did not know better would have thought that he was a fellow older schoolmate from the Faculty of Architecture.

He seemed to perceive everyone’s sympathy but merely loosened his tie slightly.

And then… lowered his head, pulled off his tie, and undid the top button of his shirt. “This semester, I will be responsible for your course on International Commercial Arbitration Law. A very simple course. It will be taught in English. If anyone does not understand what you hear, you may raise your hand at any time and interrupt me.” There seemed to be a smile on his face, and at the same time, there seemed not to be one. It was difficult to distinguish. “Remember, you need to raise your hand. Speaking up to interrupt me will not be any use.”

Someone said in a lowered voice, “I’m willing to bet that he’s in his twenties.”

The voice was not overly quiet and every person pondered on this.

“In my class, you can whisper amongst yourselves.”

Oh god, he actually saw that.

“But, I will likely be able to see it. Can we call attendance now?”

He smiled. His eyes were very calm and focused as he looked out at everyone. This sort of gaze caused all the girls present to want to avoid it. But immediately, they remembered that he needed to be able to see their lips. Nearly every single person obediently turned to look in the direction of the podium.


When Gu Pingsheng finished saying this, he lowered his head slightly and added, “I will call out one name at a time. When you are called, you may ask me one question.

Zhao Qian.”

“Teacher.” A female student in the front row rose to her feet. “What is your tattoo?”

With a slight smile, he answered, “The name of a woman.” He did not look at the list of names as he continued the roll call. “Li Dongyang.”

A male student from the back row of the classroom stood up and grinned, “Teacher, is it the name of your first girlfriend?”

He lowered his head again to read the next name. “No, it is my mother’s name.”

Silence fell everywhere. They surmised that must have touched upon a personal, off-limit topic.

He seemed unconcerned. “Wang Xiaoru.”

“Teacher, all the other teachers in our faculty have doctorates. Do you? You look really young.”


Zhao Xin.”

“Teacher, do you have a girlfriend?”

The class broke out into a ruckus. The person asking was their class prefect, but the problem was… he was a man.

The class prefect cleared his throat. “Teacher, I was forced to do it.”

Several female classmates behind him became indignant and collectively buried their heads.

With a smile, he picked up the class roster and placed it across his arm. “No.”

A roar of laughter sounded out from everyone, and the room buzzed with discussion.


Because the class prefect had started things off, every student that followed also began to purposely strategize to bring the questions in a more personal direction. They probed at his personal travels and his knowledge about King’s College, and he obligingly answered each one of the questions, occasionally even expanding upon them with many interesting stories or information. It was very enjoyable listening to him.

He could not hear? That was an enormous benefit. This way, so long as he was speaking to you, it would seem like he was gazing lovingly, devotedly only at you.

“God, does our school have any rules that bans romances between a teacher and a student?” The person who had just been called sat down again and murmured quietly.

His voice suddenly paused, and he lifted his head to allow his gaze to sweep the classroom. “Tong Yan.”

In the very back row of the class, a girl stood up. “Teacher, are you a northerner?”

Since the moment he had stepped into the classroom, Tong Yan could not really recover herself. His face was so familiar, so similar to a certain person. However, that person should have studied cardiac surgery, and he was not deaf either. But if it was not him, why would they look so much alike? Even the dimple on his right cheek when he smiled was the same.

In silence, he smiled until everyone found this moment rather peculiar. Finally, he nodded and answered, “Yes.”


It really was him.

In fact, they had only seen each other once, but they had each since remembered the other person’s name.

That night outside the emergency room, he, in his white doctor’s coat, was especially striking, but unfortunately, he had not been this warm and gentle.

64 thoughts on “Together Forever (至此终年) — Introduction and Prologue

  1. Looking forward for your new project. Thank you so much!! 😊😊😊

  2. This seems very I interesting. Thanks for announcing this. Do you have a schedule in mind?

    • Beautiful Bones will finish up in mid-October. I promised Really, Really Miss You’s epilogue after that, and then I expect Together Forever to start. If all goes according to plan, Together Forever will just take over Beautiful Bone’s posting schedule, although, as we near yearend, I may be scaling back translations for a couple months because of the busy season. I’ll provide more details when we get closer.🙂

  3. This book seem interesting. I think I am captivated by the part how they known one other in their past.

    Is this one similar to the OLOIBB? What I mean slow romance?

    Thanking you for introducing a new book for the near future.🙂

    • No, this one is more an attraction that exists between the two shortly after they meet again. The similarities to Beautiful Bones would lie in the warm, gentle love that exists between them.

      Thank you! Looking forward to discussing with you.🙂

  4. oh yay. This is one of the few I havent been able to read bc it seemed sad. Im sure once i read your translation I’ll be hooked and will go read it. 加油 ^_^!!

    • I’m not sure if “sad” is the right word. Yes, it is sad in some ways, yet their relationship and how they view life are very heartwarming. I think for me, it really requires a lot of emotional involvement. Healing Sunshine’s feel is very similar to this one (they are both part of what MBFB calls the 至此 series) but I find the emotions more subtle here but cut deeper because you’re almost unaware of them until it’s too late.

  5. I love this book too! Thank you, looking forward to your project!

  6. seems very good! i am hooked with your prologue!!!
    i will be looking forward to this!🙂

    • I remember the first time reading this prologue. Gu Pingsheng seemed so intriguing. Of course, with me, I flipped to the next chapter right away, but I’m making you guys wait. :p

  7. Oooooo! I can’t wait! Thank you!

  8. ooooo…the first paragraph had me hooked! I usually don’t want summer months to end, since that is when college starts, but now I can’t wait till October! Eagerly waiting until the next update!😀

    • Haha. Still, enjoy your summer. Zhousheng Chen and Shi Yi will be around to keep you company then and they’ll hand it off to Gu Pingsheng and Tong Yan when you’re back in school. 😀

  9. Hoju, you are simply awesome… I saw this on SSB and was praying hard that someone would do the translation or else I had to rely on google translate when I finally get the time to do it. Thank you so much. Excited just thinking about this now!

    Loved Beautiful Bones and Really Really Missed You a lot. Now another great novel to enjoy.

    Once again, thank you for giving us the opportunity to enjoy these beautiful novels.

    • Haha, I did tell someone I was a genie. :p Yay! Glad you’ve been enjoying the translations.🙂 Definitely looking forward to talking to you guys about Together Forever. I have tons of things inside me to express about that novel I need to get out somewhere.🙂

  10. Oh this sound so good. ~sigh~ Now we have to wait until October.

    • Personal opinion, of course, but I think it’s wonderful. Haha… sorry for the early teaser. Beautiful Bones will be around to keep you guys smiling until then.🙂

  11. Thanks Hoju , looking forward for this translation🙂

    • Hanny! You’re around! I haven’t seen you in ages. (So, I’ll see you around at least in October? :p)

      • Haha i plan to read all novels in the same time when already many hihi ,in the end i’m bit curious too so i already read some hihi . Yah looking forward to read your new translation🙂

  12. I think you’re succeeding in converting me to the Mo Bao Fei Bao fanclub. First Beautiful Bones, now this (I haven’t read Really, Really Miss you yet because I haven’t been in the mood for that kind of story and forcing myself would only dampen my enjoyment).

    I really can’t wait (oh, but, getting to read this means Beautiful Bones would be over… T.T)

    • Welcome to the fan club.🙂 I’m a member, if you can’t tell. :p

      So glad you love Beautiful Bones. Oh, definitely don’t force yourself to read anything. RRMY is meant to be enjoyed. You won’t need to ponder, the characters are meant to be simple. When you need to be cheered up, you can just escape and immerse yourself into the giddy happiness and giggling that book brings. It’s a completely different type of book from Beautiful Bones or this one.

      But, looking on the bright side when Beautiful Bones is over, that means you can read it from beginning to end without having to wait for updates.🙂

  13. I really liked your picks. This one will be enjoyed as much as the other two novels you worked and still working on.
    Thanks for sharing.🙂

    • I hope so! I love it and hope you to spread the love. (And my secret reason is actually because, this one invokes so many thoughts in my head and I need an outlet to discuss it. All of you will be my audience. Mwahahaha!)

  14. Even my fave novel is still Silent Separation but i like rrmy and bb. I think, beautiful bones would be one of my fave also.. Emm best number 2 after SS..
    So cant hardly wait for this one.. Haha
    But **cough*peanuts*cough** skipped this why oh why?

    Btw there wont be 3rd person 4th or drama queen, right? Gimme some spoiler pleaseeee hehe

    • There’s a reason why Silent Separation has “classic” status in the c-novel world.🙂 But, hooray, I converted you on Beautiful Bones!

      Peanuts is allergic to teachers and doctors. Funny because I LOVE c-novel doctors. My top 3 male leads are all doctors.

      Absolutely NOT. You should know me by now.😉 No 3rd person, no angst-y dog blood scenes, a little bit of family rejection of their relationship because of their previous teacher-student status but it doesn’t affect their love for one another. (The amount of influence the family has on their relationship is like how much Zhousheng Chen’s mother affects Zhousheng Chen/Shi Yi’s relationship — it’s there, is a small hindrance, but doesn’t change things.)

  15. Hoju, you’re on a roll here. Another future novel for me to read. 😍 I think I remember this story from SSB. I have to say that Gu Man is still my favorite writer. Her novels are more in line with reality. Gu Man’s novels & characters can be found easily in real life. While I really enjoy reading MBFB’s novels, her novels & characters are over the top & just unbelievable in real life. We have Toupai in RRMY who is 150% a perfect guy in anything & everything he does. Then we have ZSC that has unbelievable powers (although he’s supposed to be an average looking guy) that he can change somebody’s citizenship without that person’s knowledge or files a marriage certificate without the lady’s signature. 😜 With that said, I’m very curious what the male & female characters can do in this new novel that you will be translating. I can’t wait until October when you’re done with BB so I can read the novel.

    • You can pat me on the back when I start it. I still have to work myself emotionally up to this story. :p I really get emotionally invested in it.

      I really like Gu Man. I think she’s an amazing author with a talent for words. Gu Man’s magic to me is her ability to understand the principle that “less is more,” or in Chinese, 点到即止, to touching on something just enough and then leave it, not overdoing it. She doesn’t use a lot of words, but the ones she does choose are poignant.

      However, are her characters really, truly more real? Is Xiao Nai, the top student, all-round athlete, hot guy, simply perfect in every aspect really all that different from Toupai? Is Wei Wei, drop dead gorgeous, humble, a top student, etc really all that realistic? Toupai and Sheng Sheng are one-dimensional and really, only have a few defining characteristics. Definitely. So are Xiao Nai and Wei Wei. And I definitely enjoyed Just One Smile as well. 🙂 RRMY is basically supposed to be an escapist novel, so I don’t think MBFB was striving to make anything realistic about it. Her main goal was to communicate the joy the 2-D world, food, and ancient-style music brought to her. To escape into the possibility that, behind the computer screen, on the other side of your headset, there could be something amazing waiting for you.❤ (Who wouldn't want a Toupai waiting on the other side of their headset?) Zhousheng Chen's whole family background is supposed to intrigue the imagination — what if such an underground family existed? While you're supposed to be shocked at Zhousheng Chen's abilities to do those things, if he has connections in high places (as he termed it, friendships and business that happen away from the light of the law), it's not an unrealistic stretch of the imagination. I think it's more shocking that it's from Zhousheng Chen, who is supposed to be so aloof and removed from such things.

      There are translations for 3.5 out of the 4 Gu Man novels out there already. But MBFB is more prolific than Gu Man (who calls herself a turtle for the speed she pushes out stories :p) and her novels encompass a wide variety of topics and feels. She has various series: what I call her "fluff and candy" books, like RRMY; her underground society series, which Beautiful Bones belongs to (but even within this series, the writing style varies from plot-line driven to the atmospheric writing of Beautiful Bones); her 至此 series, which highlights real life and unsung everyday heroes, like Together Forever; her ancient novel, etc. My 2 translation selections to date still do not provide a representative cross-section through her novels to showcase her versatility. Perhaps in Together Forever, you may find the "realism" you are looking for.🙂

      I have an author comparison in my head of 4 authors I enjoy the most, and perhaps one day, it'll be made into a post here on the blog (if I ever can find the time away from translating). GM and MBFB are 2 of those 4, so I took advantage of your comment to get some of those thoughts down. :p Sorry for the long comment. (I'm sure you're familiar with my love to discuss by now.😉 )

      You promise you'll come out of hiding in October? :p

      • You brought up a good point that there are more Gu Man’s novels that have been translated into English that I can read compared to MBFB so Hoju, you will be my source to translate all of MBFB’s novels in the future. Hehehe… ☺️

        Yes, I promise to come out of my hiding place in October if you decide to take on translating this novel. This novel may be the “breakout” novel from MBFB that I’m looking for in term of the plots or characters that are more “realistic” than her other two novels. I’m really looking forward to reading the first chapter/segment of this novel in 2.5 months. The prologue seemed to be way too short. 😜

        I was trying to listen to the audio books for MBFB’s healing sunshine (?) last week but kept falling asleep. 😳 I’m such a visualize version so listening to an audio book just doesn’t work for me.

        • *ahem* No pressure, right? :p

          MBFB most certainly is my absolute favourite and there’s many of her novels I want to translate, but I also want to highlight another one of my favourite authors who, to date, has had no representation in the English c-novel community. So torn…

          I didn’t listen to Healing Sunshine’s audiobook. I used to be a bit of a snob and thought that no audiobook could replace reading and visualizing for yourself. However, I have since changed my opinion about that and seen that, if an audiobook is really well done, it can greatly enhance a novel. I’m listening to one right now that, with the combo of music and wonderful voices, turned a good book in printed form into a wonderful one in audio form, and some scenes that I had read and wasn’t all that touched by transformed into emotionally moving scenes that had me in tears. What that means is though, is, I’m very picky about audiobooks (because I have the luxury of just shutting it off and reading it myself). Peanuts and I both seem to find that the voices in Healing Sunshine’s audiobook don’t appeal to us… They are a little harsh and strong, not soothing and mellow, for me.

        • No *cough* pressure *cough* 😉 I’m just going to encourage you to prepare your heart emotionally to translate this novel for the next 2.5 months. 😜

          Hey, remember that you attached a couple of radio dramas with your favorite voice actor, Petboys a while back? Was one of them a radio drama about Together Forever? If I remember it correctly GPS’s voice was done by Petboys?

          If you don’t mind me asking, who’s this other favorite writer that you’re being torn off?

        • Mm-hmm. Much mental and emotional preparation is required for this one.

          Nope, the drama you’re thinking of is for Exclusive Memory (which also is a teacher-student relationship and Together Forever is actually quite similar to it in many ways). It’s also one of my favourites, for different reasons from Together Forever. The author is Mu Fu Sheng.

          So, funny that you would ask about the radio dramas because the writer I’m thinking about is Mu Fu Sheng. She spins wonderful characters with rich backgrounds that allow you to understand them.

        • Aha, I knew it was about a teacher-student relationship also. Their names are pretty similar Xue Tong vs Tong Yan & Gu Ping Sheng vs Mu Cheng He. 😉

          I have a feeling that Together Forever seems to have more emotional angsts compare to Exclusive Memory. That’s why you need to be mentally prepared to translate this book. When I listened to the radio drama for Exclusive Memory (1st part), it seemed to have a lighter story line even though they both are about teacher-student relationships.

        • Exclusive Memory came first, and some c-netizens have pointed fingers at MBFB for copying. Those who have read both novels will realize they feel quite different. (And later, one of MFS’s later novels was pointed out to be very similar to MBFB… netizens just like to point fingers.)

          Actually, quite the opposite. I mentioned that Together Forever is about two people bringing warmth to each other, to highlight the good things they have in life. You will be touched by their relationship, but life is life, so when you realize how these people positively face the things they have to face, your heart will twinge for them. Angst, though, is not the point of this novel. Exclusive Memory, while not angst-y per se, is about the maturing process of both the leads, especially the female lead, and how they struggle with their pasts and the stigma of their relationship. There is more angst in their relationship as they work through things emotionally and psychologically. For Tong Yan and Gu Pingsheng, they have a higher level of emotional maturity. Both novels start off quite light-hearted so yo can’t really judge by the beginnings.

  16. Thank you for translating this! I’ve been wondering if you would take this as a project since your RRMY translation days🙂 Like you, I also fell in love with MBFB through this novel, and it has since been my all time favourite.

    I actually translated about 1/3 of this novel, but never posted it to the public as I felt my translation failed to depict the internal struggles of the pair. I struggled with keeping the translation to myself as I wanted to spread my love for this novel, but also wanted to accurately capture the essence of it . In the end, I chose to preserve the beauty of this novel by keeping it in it’s original context and silently praying that someone with more translation experience *cough*you*cough* would take on this project. Haha and my prayers have been heard!😀

    Thanks again for spreading the MBFB love! Looking forward to October!

    • Haha. I think of “the RRMY translation days”, too, like they were a long time ago… but really, I only finished it up in March. Haha. Oooh, a fellow MBFB fan.

      I absolutely love this novel. Making the decision to translate it was hard, though, not because I don’t want to share it but because, as a translator, I’m going to have to pore over each line, mull it over in my head to think about how to capture those emotions, and then re-read what I translated again to make sure it really communicates what MBFB wanted to communicate. But that means, I’ll be experiencing those emotions multiple times and contemplating on them deeply. This will be such an emotionally exhausting endeavour. I’ll probably be reading RRMY on the side to help me “heal” and escape during the whole process.

      Aaaw… if translation is truly an interest, perhaps you should try your hand at it.

      Thank you for the vote of confidence. Now the pressure’s on for me! LOL. Tehe, you and I seem to have a bit of a cough going on, eh?😉

      Make sure you come back in October and discuss with us, please please and pretty please! I have so much to say about this novel.🙂 And you can let me know how I’m doing with the translation.

  17. Looking forward to anything you care to translate. 😁 Love the introduction itself already and am sure will love it like Beautiful Bones.

    • Thank you for your confidence in me and my choices.🙂 One of my favourite MBFB prologues. Love how Gu Pingsheng is introduced.

  18. can’t waiiiiiiiiiiiit

  19. YAY!! I love MBB’s books too and your translations are absolutely wonderful. I’m loving Beautiful Bones right now and am excited to read Together Forever too – it sounds intriguing😉

    • Thank you for your excitement, and for your kind words.🙂 So glad to you’re enjoying Beautiful Bones, and I really, really hope you love Together Forever as well.🙂

  20. Thank you very much for your great work! And for highlighting the reasons why you like the novels that you enjoy reading. I’m too busy to read novels this summer and autumn, but will read one of your translated novels when I have time later.. Months from now.

    I have an idle comment. I’ve seen loads of American professors and PhDs from different schools but I have not met one who wears a sport coat with jeans. Most wear a dress or regular shirt paired with plain khaki/trousers/pants (this includes many female profs), though some bold ones give lectures in shorts! Some English Lit professors did dress more formally. Could it be that American PhDs who teach in China dress more formally? 😉

    • I guess that means no translating for you in the near future. :p Hope it’s a good sort of busy, and at least you can find some time to relax. Let me know whether you like the story you choose.🙂

      Is a sport coat with jeans and sneakers really more formal? :p MBFB seems to find this combo rather “ridiculous.”😉

      • I’ve never seen US profs with a sport coat and sneakers. Surely, that would be a fashion faux pas everywhere?

        ” Let me know whether you like the story you choose. ” I’m probably not understanding you correctly on this, but let me
        try to reply. The only C novel I read so far is Wipe Clean.. I’ve seen some TV drama adaptations. I often do not like female leads in C novels who are like 薛杉杉, 夏叶. Both get on my nerve actually. Especially 夏叶. I haven’t read zhuzhu6p’s med student novel, but her female characters in her drama adaptation don’t annoy me as much, though I find some of them a bit too willful at times (but still within my tolerance range). In the past I read more English novels from Susanna Clarke, PD James, etc. Not genres that correlate well with this website. I don’t like female leads who always seem to miss blatantly obvious things, or “small-minded”, calculating, fret over minutiae incessantly, analyze in detail whether her guy is good enough, too willful or helpless, etc. Some female characters go from being very average to super-competent, which can be too removed from reality.

        p.s. I just have too many admin stuff to do for 2014.

        • I’m not sure about profs, but in the downtown area where I live, that sort of attire is very common on Fridays. Fridays is generally “business casual” for most of the corporations here, so workers are allowed to wear jeans. A sport or suit jacket can often be found thrown over a dress or polo shirt. When people are not working in the office, they will often change into comfortable sneakers to walk to go home, to lunch, etc.

          I meant, whenever you choose a story/translation to read when you are not busy, let me know how you like it. Based on your list of “dislikes” for your female leads, from the novels I’ve translated or proposing to translate, I’d go for Beautiful Bones or Together Forever.

          Hope you can clear off your to-do list as soon as possible, then.🙂

  21. Thank you for thoughtful reply. Hmm. Interesting… I worked for a major corporation once that had dress code that included “no patch pockets”. I don’t recall anyone wearing jeans there. But dress codes differ a lot by region. I know SF is the headquarter of Levi’s, so people can go to fancier places with jeans there. The French and other Europeans often frown upon Americans for pairing sneakers with a variety of outfits. It is the sneakers combined with various nice outfits that tend to be the deal breaker I think. I myself choose comfort over style.😉

    Oh. I’m interested in female leads that are more rational, independent, competent and/or talented, but not pushy, aggressive, whiny, clingy, unreasonable, super-emotional, inconsiderate, selfish, helpless, simple-minded, or small-minded. It looks to me like great male characters in C-novels are a lot more abundant than female ones.

    Clingy, small-minded supporting female characters are ok and can be amusing short-term, but I tend to avoid petty traits in female leads. These days there are female nuclear scientists, physicians, biz and other leaders, etc. I don’t see why female novel leads need to be so yesterday and so Jane Austen-esque. I think what make modern females strong as characters is partly their competence and independence. When a female is far from being self-sufficient, it can make her a bit too needy or desperate and limit her ability and potential to love her BF fully.

    Thanks very much for your novel suggestions!

    • Even sneakers, I’ve seen Converse-style sneakers paired with jeans and suit jacket or sport coat on top. Of course, yes, fashion is wildly different, not just around the world but even region to region or city to city.

      Well, most c-novels are written by females, so they tend to pour their fantasies in the male characters, who are more accepting of faults in the females. I think the dependent female is much more prevalent in c-novels simply because, even in present day China, the views regarding male-female roles are still quite traditional. It’s not that strong, in dependent, career-oriented women aren’t accepted but they are much less common than in the Western world.

      If you’re interested, Ding Mo tends to write novels with strong, intelligent, independent female leads.

      • Thank you very much for your author recommendation!

        Around that part of the world, there is a great deal of focus on how females should look. There are numerous strict beauty parameters governing only the females. From hair length, texture, color to skin tone, complexion, etc. to body weight, shape etc. Jerry Yan can get lead TV roles without making any headlines while the lead actress for Yu Zheng’s 2014 ROCH received widespread public bashing and got compared to the XiaoLongBao meat bun. While the choice of actress for the role isn’t great, the overreaction seems a bit surprising and unwarranted.

        I have only recently heard of the 14-step skin care regimen for women in that part of the world. I also remember HK’s South China Morning Post reported 70% of all HK women who were trying to lose weight were either normal or underweight.

        When that much energy and focus are given to outer appearances, it doesn’t leave one with as much time to do other things, including things could be a lot more substantial or beneficial. There are only 24 hours to a day. Imagine if all women are supposed to be great cooks and housekeepers too, on top of having to try to look like a model every day. 😉
        I’d think that it’s a bigger challenge for women to accomplish big things under such circumstances.

        On the other hand, I believe there is good value in trying to overcome adversity rather than falling into the pit with the onset of adversity. One should at least try to rise to challenges rather than succumbing to them. For that reason, I prefer to not read books where loads of characters follow the classical stereotypes. Life can be more enriching if you observe and try to learn new things along the way. Keep following the established stereotypes from centuries past blindly can hamper progress and does not always make sense under current global environment. 🙂

  22. Hoju…. another great read I could forsee that now…. I must have missed this post earlier… so excited and definitely anticipating your next translation project. So happen that this is one of the novel that I have on my “MUST READ” list. Now I actually dont have to goggle translate it but just wait for your scheduled translation. Definitely looking forward to be discussing this new novel with you soon. Gambade!

  23. Hi! New readers here! I’ve been reading few of novels in the past few days and just finished reading “Really, Really Miss You” by MBFB. I was hooked! And need read more MBFB’s novels.

    Thank you for translating this. I will definitely follow this novel.
    I really love simple but heartwarming story like this.

    • Welcome, welcome! Glad you found us. Oh, you found Really, Really Miss You! Together Forever and RRMY are my two favourites. I can’t decide which I like better, and they’re for completely different reasons. I’m so glad you loved RRMY, too.🙂 Hope Together Forever steals your heart as well.

  24. Hoju, I’m mostly a silent lurker on this site, but just wanted you to know I’ve enjoyed all of your translations and really appreciate your effort. This is fast becoming my favorite blog thanks to you and peanuts!❤

    • First off, I love your user handle!❤

      Thank you for such a wonderful and kind comment. Translating wouldn't be fun if there weren't people to enjoy the end result, so thank you for your support and also for letting me know that you are reading.🙂

      Peanuts and I are happy to share and really appreciate are readers as well! Drop us a line more often (even if it's only to let me see your awesome user handle pop up and give me a silly grin).

  25. A little late to the translation. The storyline looks really good. Thank you for the translation. It’s really given me the read books I could otherwise never read. Thanks again

  26. just started, can’t wait to read. Loved this author Its a poty that I can’t read chinese. Thank you so much for translating this. am one of your fan,, love your footnotes and picture description it really helps me understand the story more. you rock!

  27. Reblogged this on BeKaille and commented:
    Already liking it.

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