Professor Emeritus David R. Knechtges was honored by the Chinese government last month in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing with the Eighth China Book Award for his extensive contributions to Chinese literary scholarship. (See the GLOBAL TIMES press release.) He is shown in the accompanying photograph in conversation with Ms. Liu Yandong 劉延東, the highest female member of the Chinese Politburo
A special award to commend those who have made great and long lasting contributions to introducing Chinese books overseas, the 8th China Book Award for Special Contributions was announced Tuesday in Beijing.
Ten famous sinologists including David R. Knechtges from the US, Priyadarsi Mukherji from India, translator Federico Masini from Italy, writer Bernard Brizay and also publishers from different countries were selected as the top winners.
First launched in 2005 by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China as a State-level award, the China Book Award for Special Contributions aims to promote Chinese culture and literature abroad. Awards usually go to foreign sinologists, translators, writers and publishers who have made great strides introducing Chinese culture to the world.
For example, as one of the most recognized Western sinologists today, Knechtges is widely known for his translation of theHistory of Chinese Civilization, first published by the Cambridge University Press in 2012.
"Even today, the book is still the most popular gift given to foreign guests when they visit China," said Wu Wei, secretary of the Party Committee of the China National Publications Import and Export Corporation, which is one of the organizers of the award.
During the previous seven awards, winners included famous translators such as Anna Gustafsson Chen and Howard Goldblatt, both of whom have translated a number of works by China's first Nobel Laureate Mo Yan, writers like Ezra Feivel Vogel, author of Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China, and John Naisbitt who wrote Megatrends.
A traditional part of the BIBF (Beijing International Book Fair), which began Wednesday, the book award, together with the Beijing International Publishing Forum which was held Tuesday, are the two most important events at the annual BIBF.