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2017.12.19 Jin Yong’s Renowned Wuxia Novels to be Translated into English
The Condor Trilogy, a series of wuxia (martial arts) novels by popular Hong-Kong based Chinese author Jin Yong, will be translated and published in English for the first time. In Japan, all of Jin Yong’s wuxia novels, which are extremely popular in Chinese communities around the world, have been translated to Japanese and published by Tokuma Shoten Publishing. On the other hand, only three of his novels had been available in English until now. According to the November 10, 2017 article by China Daily, volume one of the English version of the Condor Trilogy will be sold from next February. 

Wuxia novels have gained popularity through various media such as movies, TV dramas, and video games. With a historical, pre-modern backdrop, they are popular entertainment novels replete with adventure, romance, betrayal, and revenge, centered on a protagonist who is not only adept at martial arts but who equally values honor. Jin Yong is said to have raised the standard of wuxia novels to the level of literature as he wrote one fascinating work after another with his cultured sophistication. 

Anna Holmwood, who translated the first volume, began working on the book in 2012 and completed the translation over five years. Reading her sample work in 2012, Paul Engles, editor of MacLehose Press, said that he was immediately pulled into the story and also surprised that it hadn’t been translated already. One volume of the Condor Trilogy translation is slated to be published per year in the coming years, to a total of 12 books.

Holmwood writes in the foreword of the first volume, "Many have considered Jin Yong's world too foreign, too Chinese for an English-speaking readership. Impossible to translate. And yet this story of love, loyalty, honor and the power of the individual against successive corrupt governments and invading forces is as universal as any story could hope to be. The greatest loss that can occur in translation can only come from not translating it at all."

The title of the English version will be Legend of the Condor Heroes, named after the first part of the trilogy series.

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