Awards, Literature

Anthony C. Yu receives Mellon Foundation Fellowship

jacket image Last year we published Anthony C. Yu’s The Monkey and the Monk, his abridged translation of Hsi-yu Chi, a renowned classic of Chinese literature. The Monkey and the Monk chronicles the adventures of Xuanzang, a seventh-century monk, over the course of his sixteen-year journey in search of Buddhist scriptures. Rich with allegory, humor, fantasy, and satire, the book is an exciting foray into the Hsi-yu Chi and the ancient Chinese world.
But even at 528 pages The Monkey and the Monk is but a distillation of a larger project Yu began over thirty years ago to create a full English translation of this ancient Chinese epic. jacket image
Yu’s Journey to the West is a four-volume translation of the complete Hsi-yu Chi—the only English translation available. We published the four volumes between 1977 and 1983. Now Yu will have the opportunity to revisit and revise his translation, thanks to a $55,000 award from the Mellon Foundation. An article in the University of Chicago’s Chronicle details the award saying:

In 1984, Yu was awarded the Gordon J. Laing Prize from the University Press for his four-volume translation of The Journey to the West, the first complete version in English. The Mellon fellowship will support a thorough revision of that translation, featuring the conversion into the now standard Romanization of Chinese characters, a new scholarly introduction and updated annotations.
The Mellon support will enable Yu to reconcile the old full-length edition with the format, style and scholarly substance with the new abridgment.

Professor Yu’s work has already contributed immensely to the West’s understanding of ancient Chinese culture. With a Mellon grant to bolster his new revisions, Journey to the West will remain an unsurpassed achievement.