Renowned Chinese translator Professor Li Yao has gifted a set of his 10-volume translation of Australian literature to the ANU Library.
The donation took place at a book launch reception for the Beijing Foreign Studies University scholar and his colleagues, hosted by the ANU Australian Studies Institute.
Professor Li, who started translating English-language literature in 1978, describes Australian literature as an important pillar of world literature.
“I love Australian literature. Over the past four decades, I have nurtured great friendships with many outstanding authors from Australia,” Professor Li says.
“In translating their works, my own life has changed immensely.”
On what he thinks the impact has been of making Australian literature available to Chinese readers, Li says: “More than 30 years ago, when I first translated Australian literary work, Australian literature was little known in China. Now, as the relationship between Australia and China is getting closer, this is gradually changing. It is a great achievement.”
Li is currently translating The Swan Book by Miles Franklin award-winning, Indigenous Australian writer, Alexis Wright. He expects he will finish by late April 2018.
“For me, I will continue to translate more Australian works into Chinese, especially the little introduced Aboriginal literature, so that Chinese readers can have a more comprehensive overview of Australian literature.”
The University Librarian, Roxanne Missingham, expressed her delight and gratitude in receiving Professor Li’s gift.
“Professor Li is an extraordinary scholar who has made an outstanding contribution to scholarship through his work on Australian literature,” she says.
“We recognise that this has been a labour of passion. Scholars at the university will benefit significantly from this gift and we will treasure it for current and future students.”
The signed collection will be housed at the Menzies Library, which hosts the Asia Pacific collections on campus.