In any case, I didn't have a translator and the cost may far exceed the sales. Furthermore, I'd have no experience in setting up marketing and distribution arrangements in China. Others warned that my work would be pirated. So much for translations!
Fast forward to this week.
In Chicago where I was giving a talk about "Sweet and Sour," I was asked if I would be agreeable to a 'sight translation' where the translator would record an "audio book" in essence so that Chinese who did not know English could listen to my books. The translation would be free, and the audio broadcasts would also be free to the listener. The idea sounds promising and would help expose my books to a much wider audience. As if that wasn't exciting enough, the next day I received an e-mail from a Chinese writer who was living in, of all places, my hometown of Macon, Georgia! She had discovered "Southern Fried Rice.' my memoir of our family's life in Macon back in the era of rigid Jim Crow rules of segregation, and wanted to explore the prospects of publishing translations of my books in China and Taiwan.
It is too soon to tell exactly what will come from these offers, both coming right out of the blue. But I am hopeful that eventually my work will get translated and become available in Chinese. There has to be some interest in China, as the National Library of China in Beijing does have a copy of Southern Fried Rice and the University of Hong Kong has copies of all four of my titles... but only the English versions!