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This event is a partnership between Books & Books, Miami Book Fair, Harvard Book Store and Politics and Prose.
Kingdom of Characters follows the bold innovators who reinvented the Chinese language, among them an exiled reformer who risked a death sentence to advocate for Mandarin as a national language, a Chinese-Muslim poet who laid the groundwork for Chairman Mao's phonetic writing system, and a computer engineer who devised input codes for Chinese characters on the lid of a teacup from the floor of a jail cell. Without their advances, China might never have become the dominating force we know today.
Jing Tsu is John M. Schiff Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature and Chair of the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale. She specializes in Chinese literature, history, and culture from the nineteenth century to the present, and received her doctorate in Chinese studies from Harvard. A Guggenheim Fellow, she has held fellowships and distinctions from Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton institutes.
Tsu will be joined in conversation with, David Epstein, the author of the #1 New York Times best seller Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and of the New York Times best seller The Sports Gene, both of which have been translated in more than 20 languages. He has master’s degrees in environmental science and journalism and has worked as an investigative reporter for ProPublica and a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. He lives in Washington, DC.