March is a busy time for literature in China with three major festivals taking place over the course of the month.
Beijing's inaugural Capital Literature Festival at Capital M got a bit of a jump on the herd—kicking off on 26 February they've bucked the trend by tying things up this last Sunday 6 March, whereas the other three biggies are only just getting started:
Shanghai International Literary Festival (March 4-19, 2011)
Shanghai's M on the Bund hosts the Shanghai International Literary Festival, three weeks of readings, discussions, debates, workshops, literary lunches, even a literary walk with 85 write representing 17 countries. Highlights include Thomas Keneally (Schindler's List and 40 other works); China chronicler extraordinaire Peter Hessler, award-winning novelist Amitav Ghosh, best selling novelists Emma Donoghue ("Room") and SJ Rozan (Lydia Chin/Bill Smith mysteries), along with new talent and old favorites. Tess Johnston and her co-authors launch a new "Shanghai Walks" book; Shanghai detective novelist Qiu Xiaolong takes us on a walk through his Shanghai; the annual Financial Times Great Debate argues whether the globalization of culture is a force for good, and the best in Asian crime fiction gather for the Asian Crime! panel. Plus there's a full day dedicated to kids with edible book contests, readings and book making workshops.
More info and full schedule here. Tickets available at www.mypiao.com(More after the jump)The Hong Kong International Literary Festival (March 8-18, 2011)
Now in its eleventh year, The Hong Kong International Literary Festivalcelebrates creative writing in English with an emphasis on writings that have an Asian connection. Featuring both established and emerging authors it includes works in translation, literary fiction and non-fiction, poetry and scriptwriting. Highlights include former British Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, Benjamin Zephaniah, the British-Jamaican Rastafarian dub poet named by the London Times as one of Britain's Top 50 pot-war writers, Amtiav Ghosh the Indian author of The Glass Palace and The Shadow Lines who will discuss his trilogy of novels set at the time of the Opium Wars. One of Hong Kong’s most successful literary talents, Xu Xi will talk about her latest book, Habit of a Foreign Sky (2010). Shortlisted for the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize, it is a story that examines what it means to be a woman in the modern world. Other short listed candidates featured include Bi Feiyu, Manu Joseph, Tabish Khair, Kenzaburo Oe and Yoko Ogawa.
The Bookworm International Literary Festival (March 4-18, 2011)
Now in its fifth year, Suzhou, and the cultural hub of Sichuan’s sultry capital Chengdu. The event includes book talks, lively panel discussions, writing and publishing workshops, film screenings and talks and Meet-the-author events and this year they're expanding their kids' offerings and launching a new "Footnotes" programme featuring evening performances of comedy, music, dance, cabaret, theater, poetry slams and storytelling. Highlights include Chris Taylor on his novel Harvest Season, a dark exploration of the disrupting effect of outsiders on China, and the violent repercussions. Annie Wang discusses her most recent English-language novel, The People's Republic of Desire, a satirical portrait of China's MTV generation, Peter Hessler talks about traveling the highways and byways of China in his hit novel Country Driving, plus Shanghai poetry collective HAL go head-to-head (or rhyme-to-rhyme) with Chengdu-based wordsmiths in a fun-filled evening of literary jousting at the Chengdu poetry-slam.