forthcoming events


Remembering Yang Xianyi (Jan.1915-Nov.2009)

yang montage

Saturday, 20th November 2010, 2pm to 4pm.

In the Khalili Lecture Theatre at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Thornhaugh St. next to Russell Square, London WC1B 3PE (nearest tube station: Russell Square; see attached map).

On the first anniversary of Yang Xianyi's death, the Meridian Society, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association of SOAS and the Royal Asiatic Society jointly invite you to participate in a celebration of his life.

Yang Xianyi is one China's outstanding literary figures of the past century. Prolific translator, scholar, historian, revolutionary, poet, bon vivant, humourist, brave and independent-minded thinker, Yang Xianyi was an Anglophile and perfect gentleman.

Born in feudal times, he lived through Mao's many revolutions, finally coming to rest in the bosom of his family in the heart of Beijing. A cross-cultural symbol both in China and the West, Xianyi was born in Tianjin, the only son of the President of the Bank of China. He enjoyed a privileged childhood, was educated at Oxford, became a fervent communist, and with his beloved English wife, Gladys, lived through all the excitement and hardships of 20th century China. In family life, pioneering literary work at the Foreign Languages Press, even years in prison, they shared everything until Gladys died, exactly ten years before him.

We will be inviting friends to speak about their memories and personal impressions of Xianyi, showing a short film, displaying the Yangs' books and translations and there will be readings from his poetry and memoirs. Mainly we would like you to come and remember him with us.

We hope this meeting will be a moving and memorable memorial to him, not just for friends and family, but even those of you who know nothing about the Yangs. You will be enriched by learning about this most extraordinary man.

Attendance to the meeting is FREE.

RSVP themeridiansociety@gmail.com

Please note that a programme of the event will be sent to you by email in advance if you book places.

Read Obituary in the Guardian


Read Obituary in the Independent


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