Tony Hsu, Xu Zhimo’s only grandson, studied electrical engineering at University of Michigan and plasma physics at Yale. So you can imagine it was a surprise to many that Hsu went on to become the bestselling author of Chasing the Modern: The Twentieth-Century Life of Poet Xu Zhimo. The Electrical Engineering Department of the University of Michigan, his alma mater, was delighted by their 1968 graduate's career trajectory and interviewed him about how his years at U-M led him back onto the path of discovering his grandfather. Read all about it on U-M’s The Michigan Engineer.
We’re excited to announce that Tony Hsu will be speaking at the Center for Asian Studies, University of California at Irvine, as a part of the the Kiang Lecture Series on May 2, 2019. His talk will explore the decade-long journey he went on, traveling through China, England, Japan, Germany, Italy, Russia, and India, to retrace the footsteps of his legendary grandfather, the illustrious poet Xu Zhimo—a man who perished in a tragic plane crash 15 years before Hsu was born.
The lecture is open to the public and will include a meet-and-greet session afterwards where people can get a signed copy of Tony Hsu’s book Chasing the Modern (both English and Chinese editions will be available). RSVP for your seat here!
The Chinese edition of Chasing the Modern, titled 志在摩登:我的祖父徐志摩, was just published by CITIC, and crowds throughout China expressed their love of Xu Zhimo by turning out in astonishing numbers to meet author Tony Hsu. Standing-room-only audiences thronged bookstores in Beijing, Shanghai, Jiaxing, and Hangzhou with hundreds of copies selling out each night. Xu Zhimo fans were clearly excited to read a fresh account of the poet's life, written by his grandson. Here's a glimpse into Tony Hsu's recent mainland book tour.
It was an exciting day for Xu Zhimo, the Crescent Moon Society, and Chasing the Modern at UCLA today. The crowds turned up to the Crescent Moon Symposium to hear Tony Hsu, Professor K.K. Cheung, Professor Michelle Yeh, Susan Chan Egan and author Sasha Su-ling Welland. This knowledgeable group spoke about Xu Zhimo's life and poetry, his great friendships with the Crescent Moon Society members and the Bloomsbury Group, and the tumultuous and fascinating period in China and the U.K. in which he lived.
When it was Tony's turn at the podium, he spoke about the many journeys he took to discover who his grandfather truly was—a speech that seemed to surprise as well as inform. "I felt I understood Xu Zhimo so much more deeply after Tony's talk," one audience member remarked. "It was very moving to hear how a grandson searched the world over to get to know his mysterious poet grandfather."
Here's a peek at the Crescent Moon festivities: