China / Society

Writers and publishers recognized for work on China

By Mei Jia ( Updated: 2012-08-28 21:01

To honor their special contributions in spreading Chinese civilization to a global audience, China honored six specialists, including German translator Monika Motsch, UN vice-secretary Joseph Vermer Reed and Cambodian scholar Khlot Thyda with the Special Book Award at a grand award ceremony in the Great Hall of People on Aug 28.

The award is given by the General Administration of Press and Publication to show respect and recognition to writers, publishers and translators outside China who have been working to introduce Chinese culture to a world audience. It is an important national award held yearly during the Beijing International Book Fair.

“The specialists are like the third eye that witnesses, records and transmits the China story globally,” said Zhang Fuhai, director of the international exchange and cooperation department of the administration.

“They offer the objective views to make the picture of China a full one,” Zhang said.

Zhang added that this year’s winners were chosen from a larger body of competitive candidates, as the influence of the award is growing.

Motsch shared her experience of learning and translating Chinese literature. The translator of Qian Zhongshu’s Fortress Besieged has written an ancient-styled Chinese novella, and is about to launch her version of a book by Qian’s wife Yang Jiang called We Three.

“I was thrilled to learn that I won the award,” she said. “I seriously hope to make a bigger contribution together with the writers and the publishers.”

Kim Seung-il, writer and translator of dozens of books on Chinese history, showed gratitude for winning the award, and said the award proves his lifelong career and effort were meaningful.

Spaniard Taciana Fisac shared her views on the international appeal of Chinese literature, an area she has been working on and bringing to the Spanish-speaking audience.

“I think contemporary Chinese literature has great hope in the world not because China has gained increasing attention with its economic and social progress,” Fisac said, “but it’s a great literature with a unique roadmap that combines its traditions with modern features.”

“The government is specially supportive, and the country might have the biggest number of wonderful writers,” she added.

Reed won with his effort in the project The Culture and Civilization of China, an influential and far-reaching book series published by Yale University Press, and the biggest publishing project between China and the United States.

“I’ve been connected with China in the past 40 years. While traveling with various identities in China I’ve witnessed an amazing transformation here,” Reed said.

“The series will go on as the cultural and educational gift for future generations,” he said.

Also winning was Yale University President Richard C. Levin.

Hot Topics