A publisher in Beijing surprised me this week. They acquired the rights to issue a Chinese language copy of Against the Tide. I have often idly wondered what would be the motivation to go to the immense effort of translating a non-technical book. English is a very complex language in itself, and Against the Tide is full of emotional history and idioms. It will be a difficult task.
I believe there are three possible scenarios that might explain this Beijing decision. They might have decided the book was a literary classic, along the lines of Pearl Buck’s “The Good Earth.” That is a possibility. Or, perhaps more likely, the Chinese find Admiral Hyman G. Rickover even more memorable and interesting than do the admiral’s American counterparts.
Even more likely, China is most serious about developing their nuclear submarine capability. In working to be the best that is possible they, just as Admiral Rickover did in 1933 when he translated Das Underseeboot from the German, are deliberately making resources about submarines available for their officer corps.
If my mother were still alive, she would at least tell me she believed in my literary merit.