17, May, 2000
Dear Professor Morgan,
I am delighted to tell you some information on Hardy in Beijing. During 9-11 May I attended an academic meeting in Tongjou, the extreme-eastern district of the capital. The theme of the conference was Regionalist Literature in China. About 20 speeches were delivered by some well-known experts, scholars and writers during that time. In my speech I gave a brief introduction on Hardy's regionalist novels in comparison with a famous Chinese writer of local colour, Lu-Shaotong, who was my friend and died three years ago. And Tongjou, the place of the conference, is his native land.
My speech aroused much interest among colleagues who attended the conference. Some writers said, Hardy is really one of the master writers in the world, and his *Tess*, *Jude*, *The Return of the Native* and the short stories in Chinese versions have greatly influenced their writing. Some young researchers expressed their intention to pay more attention to Hardy. This, as I think, marked a good beginning for Hardy to enter a formal, national literature conference in China.
I am now preparing a small gathering with some friends to celebrate Hardy's 160 years birthday. I'll tell you more about it later.