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Director of Confucius Institute in Waterloo receives national Chinese award for literary work

Friday, January 11, 2019

Yan Li giving speech at awards ceremony

The director of the Confucius Institute in Waterloo, based at Renison, has been recognized with two awards for her outstanding works of literature.

In December, Prof. Yan Li travelled to China to receive the People's Literature Award (Best Creative Non-Fiction for 2018) for her work Green Mountains Everywhere.

Part of her recent book entitled Faith Fears No Distance, Green Mountains Everywhere reflected on Li's journey in 2015 to have a collection of artifacts related to China and Dr. Norman Bethune donated by a Canadian living in London, Ontario and their trip to China. The work was also a reflection on the role of Dr. Norman Bethune, a Canadian physician, in the history of China.

Commenting on her work, the judges explained that, "Li explored different roads through serious and reliable research work, particularly in adopting a woman writer’s unique view and experiences, to present to the readers a lively and solid image of Norman Bethune and his spirit.”

Recognition for her work was not to stop at this award, however. While in China to accept the People's Literature Award, Li was surprised to find out that she was to be awarded an entirely separate prize for a different work. Just two days later, Li's article Looking Back was awarded 1st prize by the Beijing Overseas Chinese Federation in its world-wide prose competition to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of China’s Open Door Policy.

"Both awards came as a big surprise to me," said Li. "I have received a few literature awards outside of China in the past few decades, but this one from my homeland makes me thrilled. I believe God is observing everything silently and good people will be awarded in time. I also feel grateful for my colleagues at Renison who have supported my work all the time so I could accomplish and fulfil my dreams.”

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