chapter  4
16 Pages

The Originality of Lu Xun’s Views of Children and China’s Modern Image of Children

In 1933, Elizabeth Foreman Lewis's novel , published the previous year, was awarded the prestigious John Newbery Medal for American children's literature. Young Fu is an American children's book, written for English-language child readers in the wake of Lewis's missionary work in China. Born in Baltimore in 1892, Lewis studied art at the Maryland Institute of Fine Arts and religion at the Bible Seminary in New York. Lewis, like Buck, took inspiration from the minimalist, episodic style of Chinese literature, such as fourteenth-century novels The Three Kingdoms and Water Margin. Lewis, of course, was living and working in China from 1918 through the late 1920s, and would have been quite aware of this shift toward child-centered yet nationalistic literature. Lewis is more approving of the Nationalist movement. She mentions the Nationalist attempt to establish a capital at Nanking and praises Sun Yat-sen for his "patriotism and statesmanship".