London based Yang Lian is a celebrated Chinese poet and essayist, widely known both inside and outside China. He was invited to visit New Zealand in 1988, and arrived in Auckland in 1989, where he was at the time of the Tiananmen Square massacre. His subsequent four traumatic years in New Zealand were extremely productive artistically and made his name internationally. ""Unreal City"" presents, in an English translation, a selection of poems from this period, as well as a number of his essays, appearing in English for the first time, which meditate upon the experience of living in an Antipodean city from a startling, fresh perspective. These fascinating and moving texts are accompanied by notes and an introduction, which sets Yang's work in the context of Chinese, New Zealand and world literature.
Yang Lian is based in London with his wife, the novelist Yo Yo. He is a prominent figure in world poetry, is said to have been shortlisted for the Nobel Prize, and has won numerous international awards including the prestigious Flaiano International Prize for Poetry in 1999. His work is published in many languages. Hilary Chung was educated at Cambridge (MA) and Durham (MA, PhD) in England, has taught at the University of Sheffield, and is now Assistant Dean of Arts and a lecturer in Asian Studies at the University of Auckland; Jacob Edmond recently completed a doctorate in comparative literature on ""The Experimental Poetry of American poet Lyn Hejinian, Chinese/New Zealand poet Yang Lian and Arkadii Dragomoshchenko of the former Soviet Union"" and teaches at the University of Otago.