I’m of to Suzhou Saturday for an event with myself, Duncan Hewitt and Ian Buruma at the Suzhou International Literary Festival hosted at the Suzhou Bookworm.
Buruma is a fascinating chap and currently Luce Professor at Bard College. His other books God's Dust, Inventing Japan, The Missionary & The Libertine, Playing the Game, The Wages of Guilt, Anglomania, and Bad Elements among others. He writes frequently for The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and the Financial Times. I expect we’ll be talking about his books but mostly I suspect about his latest – The China Lover.
In The China Lover which Buruma uses the true life of the starlet Yamaguchi Yoshiko as a lens through which to understand the lure of erotic fantasies in the conquest of nations. The China Lover reveals the catastrophic results when theatre and politics blend in a lethal manner.
It’s also good to see Duncan Hewitt again who works for Newsweek in Shanghai and is the author of the excellent book Getting Rich First – Life in a Changing China. The conversation should be pretty wide ranging so if you’re in Suzhou do come along.
And of course me - not sure what I'll be talking about in such esteemed company - probably both China and North Korea (and slipping in a plug for my North Korea book too I expect!) which seems most relevant.
Saturday 7th March