Written by Jiann I. Lin in 2022
I was born in 1940 in Taipei, Taiwan, as the first child/son of my parents’ seven children. My Dad was a principal, Mom a schoolteacher.
I graduated from National Taiwan University Class of 1962, with B.A. in English and History. After military service I left Taiwan in 1963 for U.S. for graduate studies.
The Sixties was a decade of historic significance. While at University of Wisconsin-Madison I was deeply impressed by civil rights movement, student activism, and political campaigns.
After completing an M.A. in History and East Asian Studies at University of Wisconsin Madison, and a Masters in Library Science at SUNY-Albany, I came to Oberlin College in 1969 serving as an East Asian Specialist-Librarian.
Pearl and I were married in 1971 in Cleveland. Our daughter Monica (Edmund) and family live in Oakland, CA. Our son Jeff (Sarah) and family live in Minneapolis, MN.
I became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1976, the bicentennial year. I was invited in 1978 by U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian to participate in a conference to review foreign relations documents.
In 1992 I was selected by the Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association as a visiting scholar at China’s Yunnan University.
Around 1993 I met Oberlin College English Professor David Young. We started a collaboration to translate classical Chinese poetry. So far, we have published three books of English Chinese bilingual edition:
- The Clouds Float North: The Complete Poems of Yu Xuanji (ca. 844-871). 1998.
- Out on the Autumn River: Selected Poems of Du Mu (803-852). 2007.
- Listening All Night to the Rain: Selected Poems of Su Dongpo (1037-1101). 2020.
We are working on the fourth project: Li Yu (937-978), a Northern Song Dynasty poet.
In 2007 I retired from Oberlin College. I enjoy reading, classical music, impressionist artists, Japanese ukiyoe, and Chinese landscape paintings.