Cao Ying, translator of Tolstoy, dies at 93

Cao Ying, translator of Tolstoy, dies at 93
A combined photo of Cao Ying and Leo Tolstoy [File photo]

Renowned Chinese literature translator Sheng Junfeng, known by his pen name Cao Ying, died at the age of 93 on Oct. 24, 2015 in Shanghai.

A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2015 in Shanghai.

Born in 1923 in east China's Zhejiang Province, Cao Ying was one of the main Chinese translators of Russian literary works. After 1978, he spent 21 years translating The Complete Works of Leo Tolstoy into Chinese. He also translated works of other Russian authors including Mikhail Sholokhov.

In 1987, Cao Ying was awarded the Maxim Gorky Literature Prize, a top honor in the Russian literary world. He is the only Chinese translator to have won that honor.

Tributes poured in from all over China after Cao Ying's death. Former Chinese premier Wen Jiabao wrote a letter of condolence to Cao Ying's family, describing him as "an outstanding writer and translator in China."

Cao Ying's death was also mourned by the generation who grew up reading his translations, including War and Peace, Anna Karenina and The Resurrection, in the 1980s. "Cao Ying's name is synonymous with Russian literature," web user "Shanlinmazei" wrote on his Sina Weibo account. "Leo Tolstoy is a significant figure in Russian literature, and Cao Ying, as a translator, is also a great man."