Jolley Prize 2016 (Shortlist): 'The Water Calligrapher's Women' by Jonathan Tel

She says it was a man, an old man (but all men are old to her), which man, what did he look like, what was he wearing, what did he do

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Published in August 2016, no. 383
Jonathan Tel

Jonathan Tel

Jonathan Tel is writing a book of linked stories set in China. These stories have won the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Prize 2016, the Commonwealth Short Story Prize 2015, and the VS. Pritchett Prize from the Royal Society of Literature 2015. His story 'Year of the Panda' was commended in the 2015 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Prize. Apart from China, he has lived in Tokyo, Jerusalem, Berlin, London, New York and San Francisco.

Comments (2)

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    This seems wonderful, but I don't get what it means! I'm just a young reader who doesn't know anything...but I really hope I could read and comprehend deeper works. Can someone explain to me what this short story means and why it is so good?

    Thursday, 01 September 2016 21:03 posted by  Lilly
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    Everything get extended , bigger and demolished to new one , except his place,that got smaller and smaller. The waste ground was his voice. Everything found the new form , shape,structure as his voice.Year after year, he had taught ,how his voice transmitted from fluidity to solidity. From air to the ground from voice to calligraphy. Calligrapher Wu writes , writes on the ground ,writes his voice down.
    Calligrapher Wu was a fable but was a symbol. Symbol of the people , that are resilience. You can made them bow , you can strangle them, you can smash their soul ,character ,but they will survived and find the way to get their voice back.
    He believes “Suffering makes nation noble”. And he was noble but he suffered , suffered from society , wife ,daughter ,…..from all people that has forgotten him or maybe ignored him.And they made him to bow but he bow low.

    Wednesday, 03 August 2016 19:37 posted by  Rowshanak Homayoon

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