Born: March 16, 1925, Bolton, Lancashire, England. Married Dorothy Nuttall, 1946; two children, David Geoffrey Birch and Catherine Birch Epstein; three grandchildren, Michael Geoffrey Birch and Alison and Benjamin Epstein.
School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London:
1948 BA (Honours, First Class), Modern Chinese
1954 PhD, Chinese Literature
Lieutenant, British Army, Intelligence Corps,
1944-47, chiefly stationed in Calcutta.
Lecturer in Chinese, School of Oriental and African Studies
Associate Professor of Oriental Languages, University of California, Berkeley
1964-66 and 1982-86 Chairman, Department of Oriental Languages, UC Berkeley
1966-69 Associate Dean for Instruction, College of Letters and Science, UC Berkeley
retired as Agassiz Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature, University of California, Berkeley
1958-59 Rockefeller Foundation
1963-64 Guggenheim Foundation
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
1991-92 Renditions Fellow, Center for Research in Translation, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Stanford University, University of Hawaii, National Taiwan University, University of Melbourne, University of British Columbia.
Approximately 80 titles, including articles on traditional Chinese fiction and drama and twentieth-century Chinese literature, and the following books.
1958 Stories from a Ming Collection
1960 Chinese Myths and Fantasies, London: Oxford University Press; reissued as
Tales From China, 2000
1963 Chinese Communist Literature, New York: Praeger
1965 Anthology of Chinese Literature, Vol. 1 (with Donald Keene)
1972 Anthology of Chinese Literature, Vol. 2 (with Donald Keene)
1974 Studies in Chinese Literary Genres, Berkeley: University of California Press
1974 The Peach Blossom Fan (with Chen Shih-hsiang and Harold Acton), Berkeley: UC Press; Boston: Cheng and Tsui Company, 2001
1980 The Peony Pavilion, Bloomington: Indiana University Press; second edition, 2002
1995 Scenes for Mandarins, New York: Columbia University Press
2001 Mistress and Maid: Meng Chengshun’s Jiaohongji, New York: Columbia University Press
(All the above, with the exception of Chinese Communist Literature and Studies in Chinese Literary Genres, are currently in print in paperback.)