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China’s Literary Giants: The Legacy of Yu Hua

March 16 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

| Free

Join us as top literature experts discuss the work of Yu Hua, one of China’s most revered writers, and the state of Chinese literature today. Spanning four decades of modern history, from the Republican Era to the Reform Era, the novel To Live (活着) has enthralled generations of readers around the world. Professors David Der-wei Wang (Harvard University) and Michael Berry (UCLA) will discuss the challenges of translation and contemporary Chinese literature in a global context.

This program is presented by the Museum at Eldridge Street and China Institute as part of the NEA Big Read 2021 project. Part I will be discussed with the Museum at Eldridge Street on March 8

From March 8-March 18, Museum at Eldridge Street will be exploring Yu Hua’s To Live in a series of lectures, book discussions, and film screenings with partners from China Institute, Chatham Square Library of New York Public Library, and Museum of the Moving Image. Learn more about the other programs by clicking here. Borrow a copy of the book To Live from the New York Public Library (English-Language E-Book) (English-Language Book) (Chinese-Language Book).

Speakers’ bios

Michael Berry is Professor of Contemporary Chinese Cultural Studies and Director of the Center for Chinese Studies at UCLA. He is the author of several books on Chinese culture cinema, including Speaking in Images: Interviews with Contemporary Chinese Filmmakers (2006) and A History of Pain: Trauma in Modern Chinese Literature and Film (2008). He has served as a film consultant and a juror for numerous film festivals, including the Golden Horse (Taiwan) and the Fresh Wave (Hong Kong). He is also the translator of several books by contemporary Chinese writers, including Wild Kids (2000), Nanjing 1937: A Love Story (2002), To Live (2004), The Song of Everlasting Sorrow (2008), Remains of Life (2017) and Wuhan Diary (2020).

David Der-wei Wang holds a joint appointment in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Department of Comparative Literature at Harvard University. He is Director of the CCK Foundation Inter-University Center for Sinological Studies, and Academician, Academia Sinica. His research interests include modern and contemporary Chinese literature, late Qing fiction and drama; comparative literary theory; colonial and modern Taiwanese fiction, and Asian American and diasporic literature; plus Chinese intellectuals and artists in the mid-20th century.

Professor Wang took his B.A. in foreign languages and literature from National Taiwan University, and his M.A. (1978) and Ph.D. (1982) in Comparative Literature from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Wang taught at National Taiwan University (1982-1986) and Columbia University (1990-2004). He first came to Harvard in 1986, serving as Assistant Professor of Chinese for four years. He rejoined the Harvard faculty in 2004, when he was named Edward C. Henderson Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures. Wang’s recent publications include Taiwan under Japanese Colonial Rule (co-ed. with Ping-hui Liao, 2007), Globalizing Chinese Literature (co-ed. with Jin Tsu, 2010), and The Lyrical in Epic Time: Modern Chinese Intellectuals and Artists through the 1949 Crisis (2014). He is Editor of Harvard New Literary History of Modern China (forthcoming, 2017).


NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. The Museum at Eldridge Street is one of 78 not-for-profit organizations to receive a grant to host an NEA Big Read project between September 2019 and June 2020. 

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.


March 16
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
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