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Wu-chi Liu, 95; Scholar Translated Chinese Literature

October 19, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Wu-chi Liu, 95, a leading scholar of Chinese literature whose work helped American readers understand the writings of his homeland, died of causes associated with old age Oct. 3 at his home in Menlo Park.

Liu published more than 25 books, including the anthology "Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry." On its release in 1975, a New York Times reviewer termed it the "largest and, on the whole, best anthology of translated Chinese poems to have appeared in a Western language." The anthology is often used as a text in schools.

Liu was born in Shanghai. He took university classes in Beijing before coming to the United States in 1927. He earned his bachelor's degree in literature at Lawrence University and his doctorate in English literature at Yale.

He returned to China to teach shortly before World War II. After the war he returned to the United States and taught literature, philosophy and drama at several institutions, including Yale, the University of Pittsburgh and Indiana University, where he helped establish the East Asia Language and Literature Department.

After retiring in 1976, he moved to Menlo Park and for several years edited the journal of the International Southern Society.

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