Ying Chen
Ying Chen (Photo Gabrielle Parker, here with the author's permission)

Ying Chen was born on 20 February 1961 in Shanghai where she grew up in the former French concession, her mother’s last child, her father’s first. Her mother’s first husband, an anti-Revolutionary, had died in prison. Her father was an engineer and administrator. For Chen, ‘to have been born in China in the 20th century is a great misfortune’. Indeed, the impact of public policies on ordinary citizens is no mere backcloth but woven into their very lives. Chen was born in lean times. Plain hunger, the lingering outcome of the Great Famine, brought about by the Great Leap Forward economic policy (1958 to 1961), still stalked the land. Although subject to food rationing, Shanghai itself was protected from extreme hardship, yet Chen recalls vividly being physically and intellectually malnourished and, in her early years, being ‘fed a dry diet of slogans’.

Although her formal education coincided with the beginning of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76) when the scarcity of food was matched by the aridity of cultural, social and intellectual life, she did enjoy school, especially lessons in the Chinese language at primary school (her first language is the Shanghai dialect) which she remembers as ‘fun’ with a teacher whom she ‘idolised’. University entrance examinations had been suspended in 1966 as a consequence of the ‘Up to the Mountains and Down to the Countryside Movement’. In 1968, Chairman Mao had issued a call which sent young administrators from the city, children, and university students to work in the fields to gain a better appreciation of the life of the peasants and learn from them. Although ‘rustication’ (the policy of assigning urban youths to rural areas) did not end until 1980, ‘reprieved scholars’ began to flock back to education and the cities from 1977 when entrance examinations were reinstated, two years before Chen graduated from secondary school. This made the competition for admission at a prestigious institution such as Fudan all the more arduous. With higher grades in Russian than in Chinese, Chen gained admission to read Modern Languages, rather than to pursue the study of Chinese language and literature as she had dreamt of doing.

In spite of the cold, the pangs of hunger and actual malnourishment – to the point of falling ill and being advised to go home in order to be fed more substantively – her abiding memories of university years are of the camaraderie of the dormitories where she dreamt for the first time in French. Slogans had faded from 1976 onwards, and university life was about discovery and interrogation. Many intellectuals of her generation despaired at the state of their culture, left in ruins, and the campus was the locus of permanent debate and questioning. Chen identified with the youths who had lost the ability to further their education – who became known as a ‘lost generation’, ‘cette génération [dite] perdue’ – wondering whether she herself can make any claim to Chinese culture as her inheritance.

Yet there is no doubt that such a culture was transmitted in spite of the chaos brought about by the Cultural Revolution and its pervading force. She does concede that her decision to write in French may have been a gesture of rebellion – révolte – against her Chinese formal education. She recalls questioning the notion of ‘patrie’, an illusory notion, at University and concluding that the quest for a homeland is more interesting than finding one. The study of languages (she stresses the plural), including Chinese, brought a huge heightening of her horizons and a sense of expanding her personality (growing ‘un troisième œil’). Access to a range of texts – mediated by Chinese translations – helped her embark on a long voyage of intellectual discovery. Chen points out that Sartre’s play Les Mains sales had been translated and staged in early 1980. Indeed, Yan-Zi, the protagonist-narrator of L’ingratitude (1995) attends a performance. Chen graduated in French language and literature in 1983.

After graduation, Chen worked as a commercial and technical translator at the Institute of Astronautical Research in Shanghai (1983-89) using Mandarin, Italian, English and French. This was a period accompanied by cultural and artistic, as well as political and economical reforms in China, with intellectuals and students frequently calling for freer artistic and literary expression and demanding more democratic processes. A number of severe crackdowns followed, in particular in 1986 when thousands of students throughout the nation took to the streets.

Yet, this ‘second revolution’ (which had seen a programme of comprehensive economic modernization and organizational reforms introduced) also led to an opening to the rest of the world, the calling in of foreign experts, and the opportunity for Chinese students to go abroad to pursue advanced degrees in a wide range of disciplines. Like many young Chinese intellectuals of her generation, Chen left China in 1989, aged 28, to pursue her goal to become a writer, a voyage that entailed a self-imposed exile from her parents, family, culture and language. She has compared her decision to a form of suicide. Certainly, the image of death, relics of previous lives and vestigial memories are recurring topoi in her fiction. The violent clashes at Tiananmen Square occurred soon after she had left, causing her a great deal of anxiety and nostalgia for a country and family that she had just left and was already missing.

Among the authors Chen mentions, Camus, an early discovery, remains a ‘model’ – his philosophy explicitly so, and implicitly his style. Rilke and Proust are frequently quoted – as are Réjean Ducharme, Saint-Denys Garneau, Yvon Rivard (her former supervisor at McGill), or again Saint-Exupéry for the wisdom found in Le Petit Prince. She had read widely enough prior to leaving China to be aware of the truth of her grandmother’s admonishment: ‘L’odeur de l’eau est partout la même’.

Chen has often stated that she ‘always knew’ that she wanted to be a writer – indeed, a ‘famous’ writer – and recalls creating humorous plays at primary school, or embroidering stories out of tales she had read. She published a few short texts whilst still living in China. In Montreal, she enrolled for a master's degree in creative writing at McGill University. She graduated in 1991 having fulfilled the requirements of her MA dissertation by writing a critical study – of Anatole France’s historical novel Les Dieux ont soif – and an original narrative, ‘Fleurs de lotus’. Reviewed and augmented, this early text became her first novel, La Mémoire de l'eau, published by Leméac, Montreal, in 1992. The book achieved early success but also created expectations which Chen has been at pains to reverse since. Its Chinese setting and historical timeframe seemed to place its author firmly within a literary current which was being defined by literary critics at the time, that of ‘littérature migrante’, and within a thematics of exile, nostalgia and exoticism.

Les Lettres chinoises following in 1993 and L’Ingratitude in 1995 appeared to confirm those apprehensions. In part as an attempt to pre-empt such interpretations, the author re-wrote Les Lettres chinoises, stripping the second version (1998) of those details and references that situated it too evidently. L’Ingratitude, shortlisted for the Femina prize in 1995, was awarded the Prix Québec-Paris that same year, and the Grand Prix des lectrices de Elle Québec in 1996. The novel was translated into Italian, English and Spanish. Immobile (1998), which won the Prix Alfred-DesRochers, marked a turning point with the start of a series of seven novels in toto ending with La Rive est loin (2012). She also changed publishing houses, leaving Leméac (Montréal) and Actes Sud (Arles) for Boréal (Montréal) and Seuil (Paris). Chen has also published poems, including a bilingual poetry collection in French and Mandarin, short stories and essays, including Quatre mille marches, a collection of essays. Le Plus Grand Obstacle, which takes the form of a long letter to her son Lee, is to be published in October 2014 (Boréal, Montreal).

Chen’s life as a writer started in Montreal – her son Yuan was born there in 1996 – before settling near Magog in southeastern Quebec where her second son Lee was born in 1998. She has now been living in Vancouver since 2003, having moved to be closer to her husband’s new job. 2003 was a personal turning point, but Vancouver’s landscapes also satisfy a yearning for sea and mountains. All the while, Chen has kept a pied-à-terre in Paris, spending short periods there. She was made Chevalière des Arts et Lettres in 2002. From the very start with the publication of La Mémoire de l'eau, Chen's work has been the object of much postgraduate and doctoral research and publications. In Spring 2009, she was Shadbolt Fellow in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, French Department, Simon Fraser University which has introduced two awards in recognition of Ying Chen's achievements and in support of creative writing, one for poetry and one for fiction, to the most deserving students who successfully completed a course in these genres during the academic year.

Montreal also marked the start of a new civil status, or identity. In becoming a Canadian national, Chen yielded to North American practice, putting family name last. A re-naming, in effect, which, combined with Western pronunciation, turned her original name into a nom de plume. Having also become an author in Chinese, particularly with her own translation of L’Ingratitude (2002), she deliberately chose to sign ‘Ying Chen’, thereby effecting a complete reversal of the original twist. Read in its ‘correct’ Chinese order and in its genuine Chinese pronunciation, her birth name became her Chinese pen name. What is in a name? A cleaved identity.

Compiled by Gabrielle Parker (Middlesex)



La Mémoire de l’eau (Montréal: Leméac, 1992; Arles: Actes Sud, 1996)

Les Lettres chinoises (Montréal: Leméac, 1993)

—: ’nouvelle version’ (Montréal: Leméac, 1999; Arles: Actes Sud, 1999)

L'Ingratitude (Montréal: Leméac, 1995; Arles: Actes Sud, 1995)

Immobile (Montréal: Boréal, 1998; [Boréal compact No.162; Arles: Actes Sud, 1998])

Le Champ dans la mer (Montréal: Boréal, 2001; Paris: Seuil, 2002)

Querelle d’un squelette avec son double (Montréal: Boréal, 2003; Paris: Seuil, 2003)

Un enfant à ma porte (Montréal: Boréal, 2008; Paris: Seuil, 2008)

Espèces (Montréal: Boréal, 2010; Paris: Seuil, 2010)

La Rive est loin (Montréal: Boréal, 2012; Paris: Seuil, 2013)

Articles, Essays, Poetry, Theatre

‘La charge’ (Liberté 37. 5, October 1995, pp. 59-65)

 ‘On the Verge of Disappearance (End of the Chinese Letters)’ in Passages: Welcome Home to Canada initiated by Westwood Creative Artists and the Dominion Institute (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2002)

‘L’Égaré’ (atelier ALIBI, 2003)

Quatre mille marchesUn rêve chinois (Montréal: Leméac, 2004; Paris: Seuil, 2004)

‘L’Égarement’ in Mère et fils ed. by Alfredo Arias and René de Ceccatty (Arles: Actes Sud-Papiers, 2004)

‘Le tunnel’ in Alibi 2. Dialogues littéraires franco-chinois ed. by Annie Bergeret Curien (Paris: Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 2005)

Le Mangeur (Montréal: Boréal, 2006; Paris: Seuil, 2006)

‘Un écart indicible’ (Le Monde, Friday 17 March 2006 [special issue: Salon du Livre 2006, ‘Quel français écrivez-vous?’, pp. 2-3])

‘La poussière des étoiles’ (Frontières 19.2, 2007)

Impressions d’été, translated from the Chinese by the author (Saint-Nazaire: éditions meet, les bilingues, 2008)

‘Hors les trains’ in L’Histoire ou la géographie, ouvrage collectif (Saint-Nazaire: éditions meet, 2008)

‘Ombre sur l’Endurance’ in Les Théâtres immobiles ed. by Marie-Claude de Brunhoff and René Ceccatty (Paris: Seuil, 2008, pp. 178)

La Lenteur des montagnes (Montréal: Boréal, 2014)

Translations into Foreign Languages


Zai jian ma ma [Translation of L'Ingratitude by the author (Hangzhou: Zhejiang Literature and Art Pub. House, 2002)


The River of Memory [Translation of La Mémoire de l’eau by Natasha Dagenais] (mémoire de maîtrise, département des lettres et communications, Université de Sherbrooke, 2001) ; available from Proquest Dissertations and Theses [microform]

Ingratitude [Translation of L’Ingratitude by Carol Volk] (Toronto : Douglas & McIntyre, 1998)


Andrei, Carmen: ‘Ying Chen, Les lettres chinoises’ in Parcours québécois : Introduction à la littérature du Québec ed. by Pierre Morel (Kichinev: Cartier, 2007, pp. 180-191)

Beaulé, Sophie: ‘Le corps en devenir et la machine de guerre: Bérard, Chen, Darrieussecq et Dufour’ (Recherches Feminists [special issue: Femmes extrêmes] 27.1, 2014)

Bernier, Silvie: ‘Ying Chen: s’exiler de soi’ (Francofonia: Studi e ricerche sulle letterature di lingua francese 37, Autumn 1999, pp. 115-131)

Biron, Michel: ‘La riche surface des choses’ (Voix et images 29.1, 2003, pp. 101-104)

Bordeleau, Francine: ‘Ying Chen: la dame de Shanghai’ (Lettres québécoises: la revue de l'actualité littéraire 89, Spring 1998, pp. 9-10)

Bouvier-Laffitte, Béatrice: ‘Francophonie chinoise: Langues et identités en tension dans les œuvres de Dai Sijie, Gao Xingjian et Ying Chen’ in Asian Francophoni(e)s: Contemporary Critical Perspectives ed. by Gabrielle Parker (International Journal of Francophone Studies 16.3 [Special Issue], December 2013, pp. 263-280)

Chartier, Daniel: ‘Les origines de l'écriture migrante : L'immigration littéraire au Québec au cours des deux derniers siècles’ (Voix et Images 27.2, Winter 2002, pp. 303-316)

Chul-Ki Yun: ’Aspects spatio-temporels de la migration dans Les Lettres Chinoises de Ying Chen’ (Études québécoises : Revue internationale de l'ACEQ 1, 2007, pp. 137-141)

Cox, Stephanie: ‘Transformations postexiliques dans Querelle d’un squelette avec son double de Ying Chen et Personne de Linda Lê’ (Études francophones, 25, 1 and 2, Spring and Autumn 2010 [‘Dossier thématique: Québec’ ed. by Vincent Bouchard and Fabrice Leroy], pp. 124-146)

Cox, Stephanie and Hong, Jung-Hwa: ‘Les enfants de Pitsémine: le texte comme patrie chez Ook Chung et chez Ying Chen’ (Quebec Studies [Special Issue], Fall 2012, pp. 37-51)

De Diego, Rosa: ‘Ying Chen : À la recherche d’une mémoire’ in Problématiques identitaires et discours de l’exil dans les littératures francophones ed. by Anissa Talahite-Moodley (Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2007, pp. 299-317)

Dubois, Christian and Hommel, Christian: ‘Vers une définition du texte migrant: l'exemple de Ying Chen’ (Tangence 59, January 1999, pp. 38-48)

Dufault, Roseanna: ‘Identity and Exile in Shanghai and Montreal: Les Lettres chinoises by Ying Chen’ in Frontières flottantes : lieu et espace dans les cultures francophones du Canada / Shifting Boundaries : Place and Space in the Francophone Cultures of Canada ed. by Jaap Lintvelt and François Paré (Amsterdam & New York: Rodopi [Faux Titre: études de langue et littérature françaises, no 213], 2001, pp. 161-167)

Dunham, Nicole: ‘Le jeu de la création : Le Mangeur (2005) de Ying Chen’ (Voix plurielles 10.2, 2013, pp. 285-294)

Dupuis, Gilles: ‘L’Orient désorienté: le topos du Chinatown dans quatre romans contemporains’ (Voix et Images 31.1, Autumn 2005, pp. 101-114)

— :‘L'Orient désorienté : Le topos du Chinatown dans quatre romans contemporains’ in Identités hybrides : Orient et orientalisme au Québec ed. by Mounia Benalil and Janusz Przychodzen (Montréal: Paragraphes vol. 25, 2006, p. 73-91)

— : ‘La littérature migrante est-elle universelle? Le cas de Ying Chen’ (CroisementsRevue francophone de sciences humaines d’Asie de l’Est 1, 2011, pp. 23-34)

Girard, Isabelle: ‘Stylistique et esthétique dans trois fragments de La Mémoire de l'eau de Ying Chen (hypothèses d'analyse socio-critique)’ (Tangence 68, Winter 2002, pp. 137-153)

Hastings, Valérie: ‘Je mange donc je suis: le dédoublement du “je” dans Le Mangeur de Ying Chen’ in Protean Selves: First-Person Voices in Twenty-First-Century French and Francophone Narratives ed. by Adrienne Angela and Erika Fülöp (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014)

Huot, Marie-Claire, ‘Un itinéraire d'affiliations: l'écrivaine francophone Ying Chen’ in Les Cultures du monde au miroir de l'Amérique française ed. by Monique Moser-Verrey (Laval: PU Laval, 2002, pp. 71-89)

Ireland, Susan and Proulx, Patrice J.: Textualizing the Immigrant Experience in Contemporary Quebec (Westport, CT: Praeger, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004)

Jouët-Pastré, Danielle: ‘Entre l'attrait et l'aversion des origines: Le Mangeur de Ying Chen’ (Quebec Studies [Special Issue], Fall 2012, pp. 21-35)

Labelle, Maude: ‘Les lieux de l'écriture migrante : Territoire, mémoire et langue dans Les lettres chinoises de Ying Chen’ (Globe : revue internationale d'études québécoises 10.1, 2007, pp. 37-51)

Lambert-Perreault, Marie-Christine: ‘Rhétorique culinaire dans Le Mangeur de Ying Chen’ in Traits chinois, lignes francophones ed. by Rosalind Silvester and Guillaume Thouroude (Montréal: Presses universitaires de Montréal [coll. ‘ Sociétés et cultures de l'Asie’], 2012, pp. 175-192)

Lapointe, Martine-Emmanuelle: ‘Disparaître ?’ (Voix et Images 34.3, 2009, pp. 124-128)

— : ‘″Le mort n’est jamais mort″: Emprise des origines et conceptions de la mémoire dans l’œuvre de Ying Chen’ (Voix et Images 29.2, 2004, pp. 131-141)

Le Bras, Yvon: ‘Écrire autrement au Québec: Les romans de Ying Chen’ (Études canadiennes / Canadian Studies: revue Interdisciplinaire des études canadiennes en France 54, June 2003, pp. 143-152)

Lequin, Lucie: ‘Entre la mémoire et l'oubli: Les Lettres chinoises de Ying Chen’ (Neue Romania 18, 1997, pp. 199-206)

Lorre, Christine: ‘Ying Chen's "Poetic Rebellion": Relocating the Dialogue, In Search of Narrative Renewal’ in Asian Canadian Writing Beyond Autoethnography ed. by Eleanor Ty and Christl Verduyn (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008, pp. 267-295)

— : ‘Qui dit "je" dans Le Mangeur de Ying Chen? Une Lecture entre psychanalyse et pensée chinoise’ (CIEF : Nouvelles études francophones 24.1, 2009, pp. 19-30)

Maddox, Kelly-Anne Madeline: ‘L'identité chez Ying Chen’ in La Création littéraire dans le contexte de l'exiguïté ed. by Robert Viau (Beauport, Québec: Publications MNH [Écrits de la francité, no 4], 2000, p. 485-494)

Maindron, André: ‘Ying Chen, une Québécoise assez Chinoise’ in Identity and Alterity in Canadian Literature / Identité et altérité dans la littérature canadienne ed.  by Dana Puiu (Cluj-Napoca: Risoprint 37, 2003, pp. 99-108)

McLane-Iles, Betty: ‘Memory and Exile in the Writings of Ying Chen’ in Women by Women: The Treatment of Female Characters by Women Writers of Fiction in Quebec since 1980 ed. by Roseanna Lewis Dufault (Madison & London: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1997, pp. 221-229)

Naudin, Marie: ‘Malaises et délires généalogiques dans Immobile de Ying Chen’ (Études francophones 16.2, Autumn 2001, pp. 41-47)

Ng, Maria: ‘Abusive Mothers: Literary Representations of the Mother Figure in Three Ethnic Chinese Writers: Hsieh Ping-ying, Denise Chong, and Chen Ying’ in Asian Women: Interconnections ed. by Tineke Hellwig and Sunera Thobani (Toronto: Women’s Press, 2006, pp. 139-160)

Oore, Irène: ‘Être ou ne pas être : le suicide dans L’ingratitude de Ying Chen, dans Unless d’Hélène Monette et dans L’île de la Merci d’Élise Turcotte’ (Dalhousie French Studies 64, Autumn 2003, pp.47-57)

— : ‘Les Lettres chinoises de Ying Chen: le mobile et l’immobile’ (Studies in Canadian Literature / Études en littérature canadienne 29.1, 2004, pp. 74-83)

— : ‘Les Lettres chinoises de Ying Chen: un roman épistolaire’ (Voix plurielles 1.1, March 2004, pp. 1-7)

Paquin, Éric: ‘Ying Chen - Madame et son fantôme’ (Voir.ca, 29 May 2003) online at http://voir.ca/livres/2003/05/28/ying-chen-madame-et-son-fantome/

Parayre, Catherine: ‘Ying Chen et la langue littéraire, ou comment fuir l’arrivée’ (Quo vadis, Romania? 36, 2010, pp. 90-103)

Parent, Anne Martine: ‘Origines manquantes, origines en trop: héritage et filiation dans l'œuvre de Ying Chen’ in Relations familiales dans les littératures française et francophone des XXe et XXIe siècles : La figure du père ed. by Murielle Lucie Clément and Sabine Van Wesemael (Paris: L'Harmattan, 2008, pp. 287-294)

Parker, Gabrielle: ‘Récits de vie(s) chez Ying Chen: mise en œuvre de transduction’ (Irish Journal of French Studies 8, Summer 2010, pp. 87-108)

— : ‘À mi-chemin entre deux mondes: Parcours féminins chez Ying Chen’ (RELIEF 5.2, 2011, pp. 75-87), http://www.revue-relief.org/index.php/relief/article/viewFile/690/757

— : ‘An Illusory Journey: The Mermaid’s Trajectory in Ying Chen’s Fiction’ in Parcours de Femme: Twenty Years of Women in French ed. by Maggie Allison and Angela Kershaw (Oxford and Bern: Peter Lang, 2011, pp. 151-166)

— :‘Ying Chen: “l’écart indicible”’ in Traits chinois, lignes francophones ed. by Rosalind Silvester and Guillaume Thouroude (Montréal: Presses universitaires de Montréal [coll. ‘ Sociétés et cultures de l'Asie’], 2012, pp 141-158)

— : ‘Writing an Immaterial World: The Case of Ying Chen’s Fiction’ in Women Matter/ Femmes Matière : French and Francophone Women and the Material World ed. by Maggie Allison and Imogen Long (Oxford and Bern: Peter Lang [Modern French Identities 109], 2013, pp. 71-86.

— : ‘Ying Chen: An Emblematic Trajectory’ (Contemporary French and Francophone Studies 17.5 [Special Issue: ‘Crossings, Frictions, Fusions II’], 2013, pp. 521-528)

— : ‘Poétique de la distance: deux approches contrastées, Ying Chen et Aki Shimazaki’ in Asian Francophoni(e)s: Contemporary Critical Perspectives ed. by Gabrielle Parker (International Journal of Francophone Studies 16.3 [Special Issue], December 2013, pp. 241-262)

Pham-Tran, Jeanne: ‘Ying Chen, par-delà les langues et les cultures’ (If Verso, 9 juin 2013) online at http://ifverso.com/fr/content/ying-chen-par-dela-les-langues-et-les-cultures

Porret, Véronique : ‘La féminité est-elle subversive? D'une psychanalyste française à une psychanalyste chinoise’ (2007) online at http://www.lacanchine.com/Ch_Coll_C07_Porret.html

Pruteanu, Simona Emilia: ‘Ying Chen et l'entre-deux scriptural: des Lettres chinoises à Immobile’ (Voix plurielles 5.2, December 2008, pp. 73-79)

Rodgers, Julie: ‘″Comment peut-on être moi quand on est Mère?″ Une étude de la maternité dans Un enfant à ma porte (2009) de Ying Chen’ (International Journal of Canadian Studies / Revue internationale d’études canadiennes 45-46, 2012, pp. 403-416)

— : ‘La dualité de l’être chez Ying Chen’ (‘Écritures francophones contemporaines’, Dialogues francophones, Centre d’Études Francophones de l’Université de l’Ouest de Timisoara (Roumanie), 17, 2011, pp 81-91)

—: ‘“On s’occupe du multiple, on tourne le dos à l’unité”: Ying Chen and Nomadic Figurations of the Subject’ (Québec Studies, 59, June 2015)

Saint-Martin, Lori: ‘Trois romans métaféministes : Contre-voix. Essais de critique au féminin’, Montréal, Nuit blanche, 1997, pp. 235-268)

— : Le Nom de la mère : Mères, filles et écriture dans la littérature québécoise au féminin, (Montréal, Nota bene  [coll. Essais critiques], 1999)

— : ‘Infanticide, Suicide, Matricide, and Mother-Daughter Love: Suzanne Jacob’s L’Obéissance and Ying Chen’s L’Ingratitude’ (Canadian Literature 169, Summer 2001, pp. 60-83)

— : ‘De Gabrielle Roy à La Mémoire de l'eau de Ying Chen: histoire d'une rencontre littéraire’ (Canadian Literature 192, Spring 2007, pp. 12-28)

Schöch, Christof: ‘Ying Chen, ou: dialogues au-delà des frontières. Une lecture de L'Ingratitude et de Querelle d'un squelette avec son double’ in Dialogues transculturels dans la Nouvelle Romania : Littératures migrantes à Montréal et à New York / Diálogos transculturales en la Nueva Romania : Literaturas migrantes en Montreal y Nueva York Dialogue transculturel dans le nouveau monde : Littératures migrantes à Montréal et à New York ed. by Anne Brüske and Herle-Christin Jessen (Tübingen: Narr, 2013, pp. 31-34)

Silvester, Rosalind: ‘″Le récit de vie(s)”: Immobility and Fluidity in Ying Chen's Works’ (Forum for Modern Language Studies 43.1, January 2007), pp. 57-68

— : ‘Reincarnation in Ying Chen’s Works: Reality, Fantasy or Madness?’ in Redefining the Real: The Fantastic in Contemporary French and Francophone Women's Writing  ed. by Margaret-Anne Hutton (Geneva: Peter Lang, 2009)

— : ‘Ying Chen and the ″non-lieu″’ (Modern Language Review 106.2, 2011, pp. 407-422)

— : ‘″L'odeur de l'eau est partout la même″: Ying Chen et l'identité migrante’ in La Migrance à l'œuvre ed. by Mary Gallagher and Michael Brophy (Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien: Peter Lang [Littératures de langue française 16], 2011, pp. 89-98)

— : ‘From the Individual to the Universal: Ying Chen's Un enfant à ma porte’ (International Journal of Francophone Studies 15.1, September 2012, pp. 119-130)

Simard, Hélène: ‘Ying Chen: Éternelle mortalité’ (Les Libraires, 15 April 2002) online at http://revue.leslibraires.ca/entrevues/litterature-quebecoise/ying-chen-eternelle-mortalite

Sing, Pamela V.: ‘Origines, mouvances et la scène littéraire à Vancouver’ (co-written with Ying Chen) in Culture et littérature francophones de la Colombie-Britannique: du rêve à la réalité ed. by Guy Poirier (Ottawa: Éditions David, 2007, pp. 230-248)

—  : ‘Migrance, sensorium et translocalité chez Ying Chen et Kim Thúy’ in Asian Francophoni(e)s: Contemporary Critical Perspectives ed. by Gabrielle Parker (International Journal of Francophone Studies 16.3 [Special Issue], December 2013, pp. 281-301)

—  : ‘Rôder comme un chat : la ville dans Espèces de Ying Chen’ in Littératures québécoise et acadienne contemporaines, Au prisme de la ville ed. by Anne-Yvonne Julien (Rennes : Presses Universitaires de Rennes [coll. Plurial], 2014, pp. 479-489)

Sivert, Eileen: ‘Ying Chen’s Les Lettres chinoises and Epistolary Identity’ in Doing Gender: Franco-Canadian Women Writers of the 1990s ed. by Paula Ruth Gilbert and Roseanne Dufault (Madison & London: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2001, pp. 217-234)

Sorin, Noëlle, ‘Le récit de vie en classe de littérature: regards sur l’autre et images de soi’, (Tangence 71, Winter 2003, p. 93-106)

Talbot, Emile J: ‘Rewriting Les Lettres chinoises: The Poetics of Erasure’ (Québec Studies 36, Fall 2003/Winter 2004, pp. 83-91)

—: ‘Ying Chen's Evolving Lettres chinoises: An Addendum’ (Quebec Studies 37, Spring/Summer 2004, p. 125-126)

—: ‘Conscience et mémoire: Ying Chen et la problématique identitaire’ (Nouvelles études francophones 20.1, Spring 2005, p. 149-162)

Velloso Porto, Maria Bernadette: ‘Historias de exilio no feminino: Les Lettres chinoises e lettres parisiennes’ (Canadart - Revista do Nucleo de Estudos Canadenses 13, January/December 2005-May 2006, pp. 11-23)

Xavier, Subha: ‘Exiled Metaphors: Woman and Nation in Three Novels by Ying Chen’ (International Journal of Canadian Studie 31, Spring 2005, pp. 37-56)

Yeager, Jack A.: ‘Bach Mai et Ying Chen : identité et nationalisme québécois’ in Femmes et écriture au Canada ed. by Danièle Pitavy-Souques (Dijon : Centre d'études canadiennes/ Centre de recherches Image/Texte/Langage/ Éditions Universitaires de Dijon [Kaléidoscope], 2001, pp. 49-61)

—  : ‘Bach Mai and Ying Chen: Immigrant Identities in Quebec’ in Textualizing the Immigrant Experience in Contemporary Quebec ed. by Susan Ireland and Patrice J. Proulx (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2004, pp. 137-147)

Ziyan Yang: ‘La figure de réincarnation, la sinité pulvérisée et l’identité hybride dans la ″série fantôme″ de Ying Chen’ in Asian Francophoni(e)s: Contemporary Critical Perspectives, ed. by Gabrielle Parker (International Journal of Francophone Studies 16.3 [Special Issue], December 2013, pp.329-352)

Interviews/in the Media

Assouline Stillman, Dinah: ‘An Interview with Ying Chen’ (The Free Library August 2008) available online at http://www.thefreelibrary.com/An+interview+with+Ying+Chen.-a0195523014

Aubonnet, Brigitte: ‘Ying Chen, Propos recueillis par Brigitte Aubonnet’ (Encres vagabondes, n.d.) available online at http://www.encres-vagabondes.com/rencontre/yingchen.htm

Lachance, Micheline : ‘Des vies à l'encre de Chine’ (L'actualité 20.18, 15 November 1995, pp. 89-90)

Le Bras, Yvon: ‘Interview with Ying Chen’ (Lingua Romana: A Journal of French, Italian and Romanian Culture 1.1, Autumn 2002, p. 1)

Lisiecki-Bouretz, Sylvie: ‘Rencontres littéraires franco-chinoises. Interviews de 4 écrivains chinois : Questions à Ying Chen’ (Actualités, 13 December 2001) available online at http://chroniques.bnf.fr/archives/decembre2001/numero_courant/actualites/rencontres-fr-chinois/chinois/ying_ch.htm

Nuovo, Franco: ‘Entrevue avec Ying Chen, Je l’ai vu à la radio’ (Radio-Canada, Vancouver, 14 February 2009) available online at http://www.radio-canada.ca/emissions/je_lai_vu_a_la_radio/2009-2010/chronique.asp?idChronique=74560

Rebollar, Patrick : ‘Ying Chen, Antoine Volodine: la survie’ [vidéo]’ (Atelier littéraire bipolaire (ALIBI), sous la direction d’Annie Curien (CNRS-EHESS), Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (Paris), 31 janvier 2003), Archives Audiovisuelles de la Recherche, Kraken-art, MSH, Paris) available online at http://www.berlol.net/chrono2/?p=2426

Ying Chen: ‘Je suis une étrangère depuis ma naissance’ (L’Express.fr, 29 June 2012)