Thursday, March 12, 2009

This Weekend at the China Literary Festivals - Weekend II

I’ll be in Beijing this Friday night moderating an event at the excellent Beijing International Literary Festival with New York Times bestseller and author of more than 30 novels Ridley Pearson and Beijing crime writer Catherine Sampson to flesh out the grisly details of what makes great crime fiction, and discuss the murky ethical issues surrounding serving up the seedier aspects of society for entertainment. More details here

Meanwhile elsewhere:

Beijing – Beijing Bookworm

Saturday 14th March - 10am - China Museums Tour - Cathy Giangrande and Miriam Clifford - Beijing’s Eunuch Museum, The Sichuan Cuisine Museum and Zigong’s Museum of Middle Jurassic dinosaur fossils are just a few examples of the little explored treasure houses now open to the public in China. Over four years the authors of CHINA: Museums Journeyed Across China to produce a museum guide for intrepid travellers wishing to enhance their understanding of China’s culture, history and art. The authors, Miriam Clifford and Cathy Giangrande will present a selection of their favourite places and then take you to Beijing’s Geological Museum where, together with a museum curator you will see the marvels in this collection – from rare mineral clusters to China’s famous feathered dinosaur fossils.

Monday 16th March - 12.30pm–2pm Secrets and Spies - Mara Moustafine, with Adam Williams - Mara Moustafine was born in Harbin to a family of Russian Jews. Her book, Secrets and Spies: The Harbin Files tells the story of her family’s life over 50 turbulent years in China and her quest to uncover the fate of family members who fled the Japanese occupation of Manchuria in the 1930s, only to be caught in Stalin’s purges. She’s joined today by Adam Williams, whose equally fascinating family history in China informs his interest in Mara’s writing.
Chengdu – Chengdu Bookworm

Saturday 14th March - 7.30pm - Crossing Cultural Fault Lines and Writing Styles, with Ian Buruma - Buruma is a rare breed of writer whose prolific and diverse body of work has combined the clarity of a columnist, the insight of an historian, and the fantasy of a fiction writer. For more than three decades he has incited debate by dissecting the defining issues of our time – sometimes via academic tomes, on other occasions through newspaper columns, while for others the novel has been his vehicle of choice. Tonight he talks about how he makes the writing form fit the question marks, statements and cultural fault lines of the day.

Shanghai – M on the Bund

Saturday 14th March - 11am - Mara Moustafine Secrets & Spies: The Harbin Files – the Russians of China – see above

Saturday 14th March - 2pm - Jonathan Fenby - The Past is Always With Us: How China’s Modern History Shapes its Present – the Penguin History of Modern China author on China obviously.

Saturday 14th March - 4pm - Jeffrey Wasserstrom - Global Shanghai - Wasserstrom is currently a Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine and the editor of the Journal of Asian Studies. In his recent book, Global Shanghai, 1850-2010: A History in Fragments, he debunks more than a few myths as he traverses 160 years of modern Shanghai history. The greatest of these is what he calls "The Shanghai Illusion", namely that the city has been represented and misrepresented in so many ways in literature, film and such, that it has become "virtually unviewable save through the fictive scrim of its mythologizers".

Hong Kong

Friday 13th March – 08:00am – FCC - Jonathan Fenby - Oscar Wilde believed that "only dull people are brilliant at breakfast". We beg to differ. Come hear one of the Festival's early morning stars. Former South China Morning Post editor Jonathan Fenby is the author of the Penguin History of Modern China and four others on China and Hong Kong. He has also written books on France, naval disasters and the highly acclaimed Alliance: The Inside Story of How Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill Won One War and Began Another.

Friday 13th March – 1pm - Chinese University, Chung Chi College Library - The Art of Translation - Julia Lovell is the author of several books on China including The Great Wall: China Against the World and The Politics of Cultural Capital: China’s Quest for a Nobel Prize in Literature. She has edited and translated in part Lust, Caution, a collection of short stories by Eileen Chang, and her translation of the complete fiction of Lu Xun will be published in 2009. A lecturer in Chinese history at the University of London, she has translated several contemporary novels including I Love Dollars by Zhu Wen, poet, novelist and filmmaker. The English version was shortlisted for the 2008 Kiriyama Prize. Professor Barry Steben chairs a talk about the pitfalls in translation with Zhu Wen and Julia Lovell .

Saturday 14th March –2.30pm – The Fringe - China: From Then to Now - Frances Wood - Curator of the Chinese collections at the British Library, has written a number of books on China including Did Marco Polo go to China?, The Silk Road and The First Emperor of China. She is joined by Jonathan Fenby, who most recently penned the Penguin History of Modern China. In conversation with Justin Hill.

Sunday 15th March – 4.30pm – the Fringe - China Cuckoo -- Mark Kitto - Kitto was a successful magazine publisher in China. He built one of the best known English language titles in the country. But in 2004 things went awry. He lost his business, and suffered repeated court battles to recover it. To make matters worse, the initially enthusiastic book publishers of his business story backed out just before they went to print. Now, at last, Mr. Kitto tells his story, the happier one, of picking himself up again and getting on with life, in China Cuckoo: An Englishman who went to China in Search of a Fortune and Found a Life. In conversation with Nigel Collett.

1 comment:

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