François Cheng, or Baoyi Cheng (程抱一) by his former name, is a French author born in 1929 in China. A French citizen since 1973, he became in 2002 the first and only author of Asian descent to join the Académie française, the most supreme honor a French writer can ever hope to achieve. An all the more unbelievable feat when you know that he couldn't speak a single word of the language until he arrived in Paris. He contributed to translate French poetry to Chinese and vice versa. One of his most famous book is Le Dit de Tianyi (1998).