UPDATE: Thank you for your participation! If you are interested in future Chinese book club events, please email your name and contact information to the Asian Library at asian.library@ubc.ca.


Date, Time & Place

Meet & Greet: Thursday, March 29, 6:30-8:00 pm
Discussion: Thursday, April 19, 6:30-8:30 pm
Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall (map)

Fee
$10 per person, including a copy of the book and light refreshments at both sessions. Spots are limited. Please register early.

This book club will be of special interest to current students, staff and faculty, alumni and community members who have studied Chinese at an advanced level. We will be reading 寻找苏慧廉 A Way of Finding What’s True written by 沈迦 (Shen Jia).

About the Book: 寻找苏慧廉  (A Way of Finding What’s True) (北京:新星出版社,2013年)

This biography describes the life of William Edward Soothill, a British missionary to China who later became a Sinologist and Professor at Oxford University. Soothill spent the majority of his adult life in China, a country where his story is little known.  Soothill travelled to China in his early 20s and settled in Wenzhou, where his children were born. Over the next 20 years, he built a number of churches, hospitals, and schools in this coastal city. He also learned the local dialect, which allowed him to compile dictionaries and translate the bible. His reputation as a great educator resulted in his appointment as the President of the Imperial University at Shanxi. He then worked in Shanxi for nearly a decade, after which he returned to England and became a Professor of Sinology at Oxford University. While in China, Soothill witnessed the most turbulent time of the nation’s history. His journey illustrates the immense transformation of the country during that period.

Shen Jia started this project to document Soothill’s story while in his hometown of Wenzhou. He traced Soothill’s travels across three continents: Europe, Asia, and America. He spent 6 years immersed in archival research and conducting numerous interviews. Using the method of archaeology of knowledge, Shen’s book reconstructs the vivid story of a brilliant China expert. Shen’s work is both a provocative biography and a scholarly text. Its narrative also reflects the intricate history of modern China.

苏慧廉,英国人、传教士、汉学家、牛津大学教授。他一生最好的时光都在中国度过,他的故事却少有人知。二十岁出头的他,只身漂洋过海来到中国。他的孩子出生在这里,并由此开始了一生与中国的缘分。他在温州定居二十余载,建教会、修医院、建学堂。同时学习温州方言,编撰字典、翻译圣经。由于在教育方面的杰出才能,晚清末年被聘为山西大学堂总教习。晚年返回英国,受聘牛津大学,专研汉学教授。苏慧廉经历中国最动荡的时期,而他的历程,也是那个时代的缩影。

本书作者沈迦从家乡温州出发,沿着传主百年前走过的道路,跨越亚、欧、美三大洲,寻找历史深处的蛛丝马迹。通过爬梳档案史料,结合数十位后人的口述访谈,历时六年,以知识考古学的方式还原了一生都与中国关联的这位“中国通”的生平。这部传记既遵循学术规范,又以一啸百吟的笔触,写出了中国近代史的一咏三叹。

About the Author/Facilitator: 沈迦 (Shen Jia)

Shen Jia, born in Wenzhou, Zhejiang in 1969, took his MA degree at the Zhejiang University and his EMBA degree at the China Europe International Business School (CEIBS). He used to work as a journalist, an editor, and then started his own business. He currently lives in Vancouver, and is focusing his research on the relationship between the missionary movement and modern China. He is the author of Putongren: Jiayitang shoucang zhaji (The Commoners: Notes on the Collections of Jiayitang), Xia Chengtao zhi Xie Yücen shouzha jianshi (Annotation on the Hand-Written Letters Xia Chengtao Sent to Xie Yücen), Xun zhao Su Huilian (A Way of Finding What’s True), and Yitiao kaiwang zhongguo de chuan (A Ship Heading to China). Published in the Mainland China and Taiwan in 2013, A Way of Finding What’s True became a best seller immediately. It was praised as one of “The Best Ten Books” in 2013, and the Phoenix Television made a documentary of the same name according to the content of this book.

沈迦,1969年出生于浙江温州。浙江大学文学硕士、中欧国际工商学院工商管理硕士。曾为记者、编辑,后创业经商。现居温哥华,从事传教士与近代中国关系之研究与写作。著有《普通人——甲乙堂收藏札记》、《夏承焘致谢玉岑手札笺释》、《寻找·苏慧廉》、《一条开往中国的船》等。《寻找·苏慧廉》2013年在台湾、大陆相继出版后一纸风行,当年即获评中国“年度十大好书”,凤凰卫视还据此拍摄了同名记录片。

Questions? Please contact Chinese Language Librarian Jing Liu at jing.liu@ubc.ca.

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