I have given many talks over the course of the last year and each has been a joy in its own way. One that I will always remember was the talk I was invited to give at the School for Contemporary Chinese Studies at the University of Nottingham. It was an honour to be invited to address an academic audience, and as a graduate of Chinese from the University of Oxford, returning to a department of Chinese Studies was a home coming.
The occasion had a special poignancy for me as my old Professor of Chinese Art at Oxford, Michael Sullivan, had just died at the age of 96. An inspirational teacher, we had happy tutorials in the offices of the Ashmolean Museum looking and talking about the wonderful Chinese collection which is held there. As a tribute to Michael, at the end of my talk I read a section from THE WOMAN WHO LOST CHINA where Manying and her childhood sweetheart are blind folded and taken into mountain caves in wartime Chongqing to see the art treasures from the Forbidden City that had been taken there to save them from the Japanese and the bombs. It was very moving for me. When I was an undergraduate Michael was one of the people who gave me a sense of a beautiful and greater Chinese civilization that exists outside the agendas of politics and business. I owe him a great debt and THE WOMAN WHO LOST CHINA would not have been the book it is without his influence.
“A Life of Art and Friendship,” a special exhibition of some of the modern Chinese paintings Michael and his wife Khoan collected during their lives runs until September at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.
Only two more party days left in THE WOMAN WHO LOST CHINA’S anniversary fiesta week. Don’t forget to take advantage of publisher’s discounts on THE WOMAN WHO LOST CHINA purchased via paypal on this site or direct from OPEN BOOKS.
The USD paperback is reduced from $16.95 to $15.99 and ebook from $4.99 to $3.99. The GBP paperback is reduced from £10.98 to £9.99.