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A novel luminary of martial arts stories

By ZHANG KUN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-03-30 08:57

Exhibitions held earlier this month to commemorate him in Hong Kong. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In 1972, he concluded the final chapter of the Deer and the Cauldron and announced it would be his last martial arts novel. From then on, he remained focused on journalism and went on to write thousands of editorials for Ming Pao and Ta Kung Pao.

Later, he was involved in the drafting of the Hong Kong Basic Law in preparation for the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland.

He went on to edit his martial arts novels after retirement in the 1990s and played an active part in promoting cultural communication between the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong. Jin Yong died in Hong Kong in 2018 at the age of 94.

Jin Yong's novels were translated into other Asian languages when they were serialized in from the 1950s through the '70s, but the European-language editions didn't come out until the late 1990s and early 2000s.

In 2012, Anna Holmwood, a translator from Britain, and literary agent Peter Buckman initiated a new project for the translation of Jin Yong's most popular novels, the Condor Heroes Trilogy — Legends of the Condor Heroes, The Return of the Condor Heroes and The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber.

The English edition of Legends of the Condor Heroes was published in 2021, and the first volume of The Return of the Condor Heroes came out last October. These books have sold more than 100,000 print and audio copies, and received more than 10,000 readers' ratings on Amazon and similar websites.

The publisher Maclehose Press launched a new edition of Legends of the Condor Heroes this month with a new cover design for the centennial.

Gigi Chang Ching, co-translator of the books, spoke about receiving letters from readers, at Jin Yong's memorial forum at the Haining campus of Zhejiang University on March 12. They told her in these letters that overseas Chinese teenagers were eagerly anticipating the new volumes and talking about the stories with their parents.

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