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Book review: The Life and Times of Hu Wenzhong at Beijing Foreign Studies University | Updated: 2024-01-29 16:15
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The Life and Times of Hu Wenzhong at Beijing Foreign Studies University  

(Beiwai Suiyue: Hu Wenzhong de Waiyu Rensheng)

《北外岁月—胡文仲的外语人生》,李尧 著,新世界出版社,2023年4月第一版,359pp., 58RMB, ISBN 978-7-5104-7695-2


Reviewed by Li Jianjun, Beijing Foreign Studies University

"Professor Hu's own English was always beautiful. He was gracious, warm, wise, diplomatic, good-humored and supportive—a true role model and an inspiration to his students." — Nicholas Jose, author and emeritus professor, University of Adelaide.

"His [Hu Wenzhong] vast knowledge, his world experience, his wisdom, his generosity and his being genuinely respectful to others have earned him enormous respect." — Jing Han, professor and director of Institute for Australian and Chinese Arts & Culture, Western Sydney University.

For some years now, Professor Hu Wenzhong has declined all the celebrations of his work anniversaries, birthdays, and symposiums proposed in his honor. Naturally the publication of his biography The Life and Times of Hu Wenzhong at Beijing Foreign Studies University (Beiwai Suiyue: Hu Wenzhong de Waiyu Rensheng), published by the New World Press in April 2023, was both a surprise and a delight to the people who know him well. It is a long-awaited book, written by Li Yao, a writer and renowned literary translator, and a close friend of Professor Hu for over three decades. There is hardly anyone else who is more qualified to be Professor Hu’s biographer than Li Yao.

The biography was primarily based on Prof. Hu's diaries, which he has kept since high school. Letters and interviews of his friends, former colleagues, and students also form an important part. But the book is not simply a chronicle of Prof. Hu's life. Rather it centers on his achievements in foreign language education, Australian studies, and intercultural communication studies.

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