Home / Lifestyle / People

Canadian author pens China book at 98

By China Daily features staff | China Daily | Updated: 2014-05-13 09:35

Canadian author pens China book at 98

Isabel Crook has witnessed some of the most crucial moments in the country's modern history. Photos by Zhang Wei / China Daily

The daughter of Canadian missionaries has become a veteran 'foreign expert' in China-an author with a respectful and respected view of the country's socialist evolution. China Daily features staff reports.

Canadian author pens China book at 98

Israeli doctor aids Sichuan patients 

Canadian author pens China book at 98

Formula for success 

Many people would be happy just to be around at age 90. Then there is Isabel Crook, who published yet another book a few months before turning 98. Crook began gathering material for Prosperity's Predicament: Identity, Reform and Resistance in Rural Wartime China in 1940, but didn't start writing it up until four decades later. In the intervening period, the Canadian woman started a family, earned a doctorate and focused on teaching English in China - seeing it as her part in nation-building alongside the Chinese Communist Party.

A Party representative approached Crook and her British husband in 1948, asking them to remain in China and teach English to future diplomats since "the liberation war would soon be won, and they would be setting up the People's Republic of China", Crook says in an interview at her Beijing home in early spring.

"They desperately needed teachers, especially for English," she says. "We promised to stay for at least a year or two."

They ended up staying permanently, becoming among the first teachers at the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute (which later became the Beijing Foreign Studies University, one of the country's leading foreign-language schools).

From the outset, the couple asked to become "regular members" of the teaching staff, which meant they could get involved in political study and the various movements of the Mao Zedong era, Isabel said in 2008 in her convocation address at the University of Toronto's Victoria University.

They found themselves no longer observers, but "participants in the Chinese revolution at the grassroots level", Crook told the audience.

Previous 1 2 3 4 Next

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349