Cam Rivers Publishing

Chasing the Modern - By Tony S. Hsu

9.99
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Chasing the Modern - By Tony S. Hsu

9.99

At the height of his literary prowess, Xu Zhimo was the most famous living poet in all of China. With his round spectacles and aristocratic profile, Xu had a face that became as iconic as his poetry. During his short life, he claimed an illustrious place in the literary canon, redefining Chinese poetry and leading literature into the modern era. But while the brilliant and charismatic Xu may have seemed to live a charming existence, he also faced near poverty, profound heartbreak, the opium addiction of his second wife, and a fiery death at age 35. In this lyrical and engaging biography, Xu’s story is poignantly told by his grandson, Tony Hsu.

Born in 1897, Xu came of age during the early twentieth century, a period when China was struggling to find its own identity — an era of nation building, violent political revolutions and passionate cultural exchange with the West. In Chasing the Modern, we follow the odyssey of Xu, who at 21, boards a ship from Shanghai to America, leaving behind his family — the dutiful and intelligent Zhang Youyi, the wife he had wed in an arranged marriage, and their infant son — and his beloved homeland to pursue a western education. In America, along with the other elite young men of his generation, he studies at Columbia University in New York. Shifting allegiances and crossing the Atlantic to continue his education in England, Xu then joins the avant-garde philosophers and writers at the storied King’s College, Cambridge Universirt, and socializes with the London literati, exchanging ideas, bon mots and champagne toasts with the Bloomsbury group.

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At the height of his literary prowess, Xu Zhimo was the most famous living poet in all of China. With his round spectacles and aristocratic profile, Xu had a face that became as iconic as his poetry. During his short life, he claimed an illustrious place in the literary canon, redefining Chinese poetry and leading literature into the modern era. But while the brilliant and charismatic Xu may have seemed to live a charming existence, he also faced near poverty, profound heartbreak, the opium addiction of his second wife, and a fiery death at age 35. In this lyrical and engaging biography, Xu’s story is poignantly told by his grandson, Tony Hsu.

Born in 1897, Xu came of age during the early twentieth century, a period when China was struggling to find its own identity — an era of nation building, violent political revolutions and passionate cultural exchange with the West. In Chasing the Modern, we follow the odyssey of Xu, who at 21, boards a ship from Shanghai to America, leaving behind his family — the dutiful and intelligent Zhang Youyi, the wife he had wed in an arranged marriage, and their infant son — and his beloved homeland to pursue a western education. In America, along with the other elite young men of his generation, he studies at Columbia University in New York. Shifting allegiances and crossing the Atlantic to continue his education in England, Xu then joins the avant-garde philosophers and writers at the storied King’s College, Cambridge Universirt, and socializes with the London literati, exchanging ideas, bon mots and champagne toasts with the Bloomsbury group.