Virtual Event: Jing Tsu

presenting

Kingdom of Characters:
The Language Revolution That Made China Modern

in conversation with DAVID EPSTEIN

Date

Jan
19
Wednesday
January 19, 2022
7:00 PM ET

Location

Join this virtual event by purchasing a ticket through Eventbrite

Tickets

$33.75 (book included) - On Sale Now

Harvard Book Store, Politics and Prose, and Books & Books welcome JING TSU—the John M. Schiff Professor of East Asian Languages and the Comparative Literature Chair of the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University—for a discussion of her latest book, Kingdom of Characters: The Language Revolution That Made China Modern. She will be joined in conversation by DAVID EPSTEIN, the bestselling author of Range and The Sports Gene.

Ticketing

There are two ticket options available for this event.

Admission Ticket - $33.75: Includes one admission link and one copy of Kingdom of Characters. U.S. shipping also included. Books will be shipped to ticket-holders following the event. Please note: we are unable to ship internationally.

Free RSVP Ticket: Includes one admission link. 



 

About Kingdom of Characters

After a meteoric rise, China today is one of the world’s most powerful nations. Just a century ago, it was a crumbling empire with literacy reserved for the elite few, as the world underwent a massive technological transformation that threatened to leave them behind. In Kingdom of Characters, Jing Tsu argues that China’s most daunting challenge was a linguistic one: the century-long fight to make the formidable Chinese language accessible to the modern world of global trade and digital technology.

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.

With larger-than-life characters and an unexpected perspective on the major events of China’s tumultuous twentieth century, Tsu reveals how language is both a technology to be perfected and a subtle, yet potent, power to be exercised and expanded.

Praise for Kingdom of Characters

“Jing Tsu wears her erudition lightly and gives us a fascinating and moving story.  It shows the passionate struggle of generations of pioneers.  It's a story of desperate strife, unflagging dedication, and ultimately, triumph.” —Ha Jin, author of Waiting and War Trash

“A deeply engaging and revealing narrative of the Chinese language in modern times. Meticulously researched and beautifully written.” —David Wang, Edward C. Henderson Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature, Harvard University

“Seldom have I read a book about modern China so informative, revelatory and enjoyable.” —Simon Winchester, author of The Professor and the Madman and The Man Who Loved China

David Epstein
David Epstein

David Epstein

David Epstein is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and of the New York Times bestseller 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.

Photo Credit: Deb Lindsey

Jing Tsu
Jing Tsu

Jing Tsu

Jing Tsu is the John M. Schiff Professor of East Asian Languages and the Comparative Literature Chair of the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale, specializing in modern Chinese literature and culture from the 19th century to the present. She received her doctorate in Chinese Studies from Harvard. Tsu was a Guggenheim fellow in 2016 and has held fellowships at Harvard, Stanford, and Princeton institutes.

Photo Credit: Corina Gamma




Join this virtual event by purchasing a ticket through Eventbrite
Event Series: Virtual Event Series

Harvard Book Store’s award-winning event series continues online! Named "Best of Boston: 2020 Best Virtual Author Series" and "2021 Best Virtual Author Series" by Boston magazine.

General Info
(617) 661-1515
info@harvard.com

Media Inquiries
mediainquiries@harvard.com

Accessibility Inquiries
access@harvard.com

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

Learn More »

Shipping & Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

Learn More »

Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

Learn More »