APSI Summer Book Club: Hard Like Water with Yan Lianke and Carlos Rojas

John Hope Franklin Center at Duke University’s  Asia/Pacific Studies Institute presents: “Hard Like Water with Yan Lianke & Carlos Rojas“.

Date: Aug 12, 2022, 7-9am China time
Location: Zoom and in person at the Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall at Duke University

*Registration required*

This final session of the 2022 APSI Summer Book Club will feature a discussion with visionary writer Yan Lianke and long-time collaborator and translator Carlos Rojas (Co-Director of DKU’s Humanities Research Center)  to explore Yan’s recently translated novel Hard Like Water (link is external) (堅硬如水 jiān yìng rú shuǐ).  This is a hybrid event open to the public in both in-person and online formats.  Registration via this form is required ; those participating in the Zoom session will be directed to a separate Zoom only registration page.  The in-person event will be held at the John Hope Franklin Center Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall (2204 Erwin Rd); light snacks and refreshments will be served.  All guests at Duke facilities must be fully vaccinated or remained masked while indoors.

The Asian/Pacific Studies Institute (APSI) is offering to provide the first 20 local registrants a complimentary copy of the book to be picked up at the Regulator Bookshop on Ninth St.  Further instructions TBA.  Participants interested in reading in the original Chinese can access a copy of the text at this link.


  • 7-8PM – Discussion in English moderated by Professor Carlos Rojas
  • 8-9PM – Discussion with author Yan Lianke in Chinese with interpretation by Professor Eileen Chow
Yan Lianke.jpg

Biography: Yan Lianke is the author of numerous story collections and novels, including The Years, Months, DaysThe Explosion Chronicles, which was longlisted for the Man Booker International and PEN Translation Prize; The Four BooksLenin’s KissesServe the People!, and Dream of Ding Village. Among many accolades, he was awarded the Franz Kafka Prize, he was twice a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize, and he has been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the Man Asian Literary Prize, and the Prix Femina Étranger. He has received two of China’s most prestigious literary honors, the Lu Xun Prize and the Lao She Award.  Source: Grove Atlantic




  • Duke University – Asian/Pacific Studies Institute