How University of Michigan Kicked Off Tony Hsu's Lifelong Search for His Grandfather

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.

Upcoming Event: Tony Hsu to Speak at UC Irvine's Kiang Lecture Series on May 2, 2019

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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!

Chasing the Modern's Whirlwind Book Tour Through China

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.

Copies of Chasing the Modern, with its vibrant orange and blue cover that was designed for the Chinese edition, were displayed prominently.

At Sisyphe Bookstore in Shanghai, members of "The Voice" reading club espoused the roles of Xu Zhimo (played by Jason Zhang), Zhang Youyi (Katia Deng), Lin Huiyin (Jessica Qiao), and Lu Xiaoman (Vivian Cao), reciting imagined confessions from each figure. Min Zhao played the Chinese zither to accompany the performance.

Audience members hold up their copies of Chasing the Modern along with Tony Hsu at Sisyphe Bookstore in Hangzhou, China.