Wright Crosses the Pacific Again, in 2021

© Mark Hertzberg (2021)

Frank Lloyd Wright first crossed the Pacific Ocean in 1905 to visit Japan. Figuratively speaking, Wright just made another crossing with the republication in May 2021 in Mandarin of two Wright books in one “omnibus edition” by the Beijing-based China Architecture Publishing & Media Co., formerly known as the China Architecture and Building Press. The books are Grant Hildebrand’s Frank Lloyd Wright’s Palmer House (University of Washington Press, 2007) and my Frank Lloyd Wright’s SC Johnson Research Tower (Pomegranate, 2010). The translated title of the omnibus edition is Organic Architecture Landmarks of Frank Lloyd Wright: SC Johnson Research Tower, Palmer House.

This is a color proof of the handsome cover:

Chinese Cover.jpg

This exciting news (for me, as an author, as well as for anyone looking for unique ways to add to their Wright libraries) has been four years in the making.  Shuai Qi, an executive editor with the publisher, first broached the subject with me and with copyright holders of other potential books to include in the omnibus edition in April 2017. The four years of emails that ensued, concerning publishing rights, licensing agreements, contract language, payment arrangements, and myriad other details sometimes dragged out because of the 13-hour time difference between Racine and Beijing.

Prof. Yang Peng, a lecturer in Modern 20th Century Architecture at Renmin University of China School of Arts, translated the two books into Mandarin. He commented in an email, “FLLW still is and will be a great force to overcome the cultural shortsightedness.

“It is my privilege to make some contribution to let more Chinese readers know his works and ideas.”

7D5A00374CF8A71124B45DAA93A_51C3D4DE_A794.jpgProf. Peng

I asked Shuai Qi to tell me more about the interest about Wright in China. I knew of  of the great interest in Wright’s work in Japan, but nothing about his draw in China.

“Actually, Wright himself as a great architect is well known and some of his famous works is popular with Chinese people. Many books concerning Wright has been introduced from abroad and published here in China. In addition, the translator, also my friend, Prof. Yang Peng, is a true Wright fan. He has made a lot of research on Wright and even translated Wright’s Autobiography into Chinese.
“Many people in China know Wright’s famous works but few people know his works such as SC Johnson Research Tower and Palmer House. This is why we plan to introduce and publish this book into China. We think it can attract even more people’s attention and encourage them to explore more about this great architect. The target audience can be university and college students, architects, designers, and scholars, etc.”
During the four years of emails – 340 related messages are in my files – I suggested to Shuai Qi (not entirely facetiously!) that the publisher bring me to China to give my Wright lectures, including the one about the Research Tower. Not so unreasonable, is that maybe I will be able to do some Zoom lectures, now that they have become part of our “new normal.”
Now, for Stan Ecklund, Randy Henning, and all the others interested in buying the book, it is not yet on their website, but it can be ordered by emailing Li Juan by at:
2427634479@2427634479@qq.com
In 2017 the price of the book in US dollars was just under $4. I believe it is around $12 now, but that is exclusive of mailing costs, of course. If you all order enough copies the initial printing of 3,000 copies will sell out and I will get another royalty check when the second printing starts. So, you know what to do!
I apologize for the formatting problem that refuses to put the proper spacing between the last few paragraphs.

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