Translator of famous Chinese erotic classic dead at 83

Source:Global Times Published: 2016-5-30 18:58:01

David Tod Roy, a famous US sinologist, passed away in Chicago on May 30 according to Once a professor at Chicago University, Roy is best known as the translator for the English version of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) naturalistic novel Jin Ping Mei, or The Plum in the Golden Vase.

The son of Andrew Tod Roy, a US missionary and professor at the Philosophy Department of the University of Nanking, David Tod Roy was born in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province in 1933. His younger brother, J. Stapleton Roy, was the US ambassador to China from 1991-95.

First encountering Jin Ping Mei at a second-hand book store in Nanjing at the age of 17, Roy said in a previous interview with South China Morning Post that he was "attracted by Jin Ping Mei's reputation of being pornographic… but when I tried to read it, I discovered there was much more to it than that."

Roy started his translation of Jin Ping Mei in 1982 and the first volume was published in 1993.

It took 30 years for Roy to finish the entire five volumes, the last of which came out in 2012.

Posted in: Books

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