Chinese author Jin Yong is "Tolkien of China": translator

London, April 12 (CNA) A British-Swede translator who has taken on the arduous task of translating a popular martial arts series from Chinese into English called its author Louis Cha, better known by his pseudonym Jin Yong, the J.R.R. Tolkien of China.During an interview with CNA earlier this week, Anna Holmwood, a 32-year-old Jin Yong enthusiast who majored in history at Oxford University, talked about her reasons for wanting to translate the iconic "Legend of the Condor Heroes" trilogy into English.According to Holmwood, it seemed ridiculous that such a huge author has never been published by a U.K. publisher or had a trade edition in English.She therefore thought that given "his (Jin Yong's) status in the culture, I thought it was the kind of challenge that would be really fun to work on."Holmwood went on to pitch the author and prepared an introduction and sample for publishers in which she called Jin Yong "the Tolkien of China."Some have found the description controversial, but Holmwood said she was not "trying to make some kind of deep literary comparison."Rather, her thinking was that like Tolkien in the English-speaking world, Jin Yong is known by everyone in China, Taiwan and the Chinese-speaking world, with most people having read his works and watched TV and film adaptations of them.Subject-wise, the focus on historical and fantasy elements shared by the two is what called for a comparison, despite the differences in the style and genre of their signature literary works, she said.This comparison also gives readers in the English-speaking world an idea of "what kind of area" Jin Yong's stories might fall under, helping readers avoid the mistake of thinking that they are historical romances or crime thrillers.Nonetheless, the translator maintained that "martial arts fiction and Jin Yong's work...is a unique genre."MacLehose Press subsequently acquired the rights to the trilogy and made a plan to publish the books in 12 volumes, four books per each of the original three texts.The first volume -- "A Hero Born" -- of the first book in English, "Legend of the Condor Heroes," which gives the name to the trilogy, was published in February of this year.The plan, according to Paul Engles, the series' editor at MacLehose Press, is to continue to publish one book a year for the next eleven years.