I was at a meeting in New York not long ago with a friend and colleague whose English name is Bob Nylen. That is, his only name at that point was Bob Nylen. But after the meeting our Chinese friend, with whom we had had an animated discussion of why Chinese people adopt English names (my favorite is that of a professor in Beijing: Tiger Wood, singular) and how when one does business in China one needs a Chinese name, decided to christen Bob Bao Nai-Leng.
BAO Nai-Leng means “guaranteed capable,” he explained, “Bao is also the last name of one of China’s most famous judges in the Song dynasty (600 AC).”
Bob emailed yesterday that he had broken a leg, so we decided to send him a BAO bear. BAO Nai-Leng, get well soon!
P.S. Bob says that almost every detail in this Publishers Weekly article about his forthcoming book is wrong, but I do know that if its title is indeed, as rumored, going to be Guts, that’ll be true.