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China recognizes 15 in prestigious book awards

By Mei Jia | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-22 09:21

The Special Book Award of China, the top publishing award from the Chinese government, was given to 15 foreign translators, publishers, writers and Sinologists in Beijing on Tuesday to honor their contributions in bridging cultures and fostering understanding.

They include Polish publisher Andrzej Kacperski, who set up sections of Chinese titles in 100 Polish bookstores and hosted Reading About China book exhibitions; Staburova Jelena, the Latvian researcher of Chinese language and literature; and both the Nepali and Uzbek translators of Volume 1 of the global best-seller Xi Jinping: The Governance of China.

"The books we publish and sell allow Polish readers to discover China in tradition, culture and modernity and also allow them to keep up to date on the dynamic changes taking place here. They are well received by our customers," Kacperski said.

Hungarian linguist Kalmar Eva, 80, who studied at Peking University in the 1960s, spent a lifetime translating 30 Chinese titles into her mother language, from the ancient classic Journey to the West to the works of modern and contemporary authors.

"I always recall my years in Beijing when I taught students. At my age, I still love to do more to introduce Chinese authors," Kalmar said. "Novels, poems and photo albums on Chinese culture are well accepted by foreign audiences."

The translator added that the awards show that books are not failing in the digitalized world of information.

Olivia Milburn, British translator of spy novelist Mai Jia's works Decoded and In the Dark, gave Mai Jia a place in Penguin Classics. She was joined by two other writers, from Cambodia and Iran, in claiming the awards for young scholars.

Milburn was attracted to the world of Chinese literature by an English version of A Dream of Red Chamber, while Romanian translator Balan Luminita Rodica was drawn by imagery of the Monkey King, at the age of 8.

"I learned from Chinese wisdom that persistence is what really brings changes," Rodica said.

Established in 2005, the awards have featured 108 winners from 44 countries and regions. Other prominent winners from past sessions include fiction translator Howard Goldblatt.

Richard Charkin, a British publisher, won the 2017 award. Charkin told China Daily that his award brought him fantastic benefits when collaborating with Chinese peers.

The 25th Beijing International Book Fair will kick off on Wednesday at the new International Exhibition Center in Shunyi district, and will last to Sunday.

The 15 winners joined international publishing professionals at the 2018 Beijing International Publishing Forum on Tuesday morning. They were also invited to take part in the book fair to have deeper involvement with Chinese publishers and writers.

 

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