NYRB is saddened to announce that Pierre Ryckmans, known by the pen name Simon Leys, died on Monday, August 11, 2014.
Pierre Ryckmans was born in Belgium and settled in Australia in 1970. He taught Chinese literature at the Australian National University and was Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney from 1987 to 1993. Leys’s writing has appeared in The New York Review of Books, Le Monde, Le Figaro Littéraire, and other periodicals. Among his books are Chinese Shadows, The Death of Napoleon (forthcoming from NYRB Classics), Other People’s Thoughts, and The Wreck of the Batavia & Prosper. In 1996 he delivered the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Boyer lectures. He won many awards, including the Prix Renaudot, the Prix Femina, the Prix Guizot, and the Christina Stead Prize for Fiction.
NYRB Classics will publish Leys’ translation of Simone Weil’s On the Abolition of All Political Parties this September.