The best way to read and understand Chinese literature is to understand the literary language and culture of the country.
And to do that, you need to understand what makes the language tick, says Australian writer and translator of Chinese classics, John D. Sorenson.
Sorenson was born in New Zealand and spent many years studying at the University of Canterbury in the US, where he got a master’s degree in literature.
At age 12, he was sent to Beijing to study with the poet Wang Xingqian.
It was here, in the late 1980s, that he first met a woman who was a disciple of the late Chinese scholar Liu Xiaobo, who died in 2012.
Sorensons story is an anecdote of a young man who, in a dream, met an old friend.
That friend, he says, told him that she had seen a woman sitting on a mountain.
Sorensson decided to follow her trail.
The next year, he went to Beijing with a group of friends, but he was told he was too young to attend a traditional Chinese wedding.
So he went on his own.
He was sent back to New Zealand to live with a family, where the family was deeply religious.
Soresons mother, who was not religious herself, persuaded him to marry her and raise his family.
It took a lot of courage for Sorennsson to be married, he explains.
“I was really proud of her for doing this and she was really grateful for that.”
Sorennsons first wife, Jane, was also a follower of Liu Xiaoyan.
The two were married in a church in central Beijing.
They had a daughter, Grace, who is now a university lecturer and an award-winning novelist.
Jane, who later divorced Sorenssons first marriage, died in 2003.
She was 91.
Sennons daughter, Lisa, also died.
The story of the couple’s marriage is told in “The Long Road Home,” the first book of a new biography by the author, who spent years researching the couple, their marriage and their son, Matthew, who grew up in China.
The book will be published in 2018 by Penguin Random House.
Sornson says that in the decades since the marriage, the Chinese government has been trying to modernize the way that Chinese people speak and think.
The government has promoted literacy, especially in rural areas, and encouraged the use of more modern technology, including smartphones and the internet.
The Chinese government also banned the practice of polygamy and other practices that were considered too far-reaching.
But despite these efforts, he argues that in some ways, the country still lacks a strong sense of identity.
“It’s difficult to have a sense of your own identity because the language is not as sophisticated,” he says.
“But I think there’s something that we all feel is missing: a sense that we belong in China.”
It is this sense of belonging that, Sorensson believes, has helped keep the Chinese Communist Party alive.
“They believe they’re in charge and that they can do whatever they want,” he explains, “and they’re also very loyal.
I think this is a great example of how, in some way, people feel they belong in their own country.”
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