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The BookWrom

BEIJING BookWrom:Building 4, Nan Sanlitun Road, Chao Yang District, Beijing

Adam Williams

Writer, speaker, businessman and novelist Adam Williams is the author of three acclaimed historical novels set in China – The Palace of Heavenly Pleasure, The Emperor’s Bones and The Dragon’s Tail. A businessman and banker in Beijing for over twenty years, he is the fourth generation of his family to be living and working in China.Adam’s fourth novel, a quest for love in war torn Andalucia, The Book of the Alchemist was published in late 2009.


Alberto Ruy Sánchez is a fiction and non-fiction writer, poet and essayist from Mexico City. Since 1988 he has served as the editor-in-chief of Artes de México, which has won more than 100 national and international editorial awards. With over 90 issues and 600 writers, the journal has given a voice to diverse points of view on Mexican themes and identity. His most recent publications include Limulus, Visiones del fósil viviente/Visions of the Living Fossil and Nueve Veces el Asombro. He has published widely in scholarly journals and is the author of several books of literary criticism, including Una introducción a Octavio Paz. Ruy Sánchez’s best known work of fiction Los nombres del aire was translated as Mogador in 2006.


Alex Kuo is a Chinese-American teacher, poet, fiction writer and essayist. His most recent books are Chinese Opera, This Fierce Geography, Lipstick and Other Stories, which received the American Book Award, Panda Diaries, and White Jade and Other Stories. More than 350 of his poems, short stories, photographs and essays have appeared in magazines, newspapers and anthologies. He has won multiple National Endowment for the Arts grants, and has held numerous teaching fellowships in China.


Alexis Wright is a member of the Waanyi nation of the Southern highlands of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Her books include Grog Wars, a study of alcohol abuse in the outback town of Tennant Creek, and the novel Plains of Promise, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize, the Age Book of the Year Award and the NSW Premier’s Award for Fiction. Her most recent novel, Carpentaria, won the prestigious Miles Franklin award in 2007. Wright is brought to you by the Australian Embassy Beijing’s 2010 Australian Writers’ Week.


Australian writer and lawyer Alice Pung’s first book, Unpolished Gem, is a national best-selling memoir about her family’s emigration from China to Australia. Short-listed for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the NSW Permier’s Literary Awards, it won the Australian Book Industry’s 2007 Newcomer of the Year Award and was selected for Books Alive 2007 and voted one of Victoria’s Top Five Summer Reads. In 2008, Pung edited the popular anthology Growing Up Asian in Australia. Pung is brought to you by the Australian Embassy Beijing’s 2010 Australian Writers’ Week.


Indian writer Amit Chaudhuri has written four novels: A Strange and Sublime Address, Afternoon Raag, Freedom Song and A New World, which won India’s highest literary honor, the Sahitya Akademi award in 2002. He has recently published a book of short stories entitled Real Time and is the editor of the Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature. His criticism and fiction have appeared regularly in the London Review of Books, Granta, The New Republic and The New Yorker. Chaudhuri is also a classically trained musician, and will be showcasing his critically-acclaimed project ‘This is Not Fusion’ at the festival.


One of India’s best-known writers, Amitav Ghosh is the author of numerous highly acclaimed historical novels set in India and South Asia, including The Circle of Reason, The Shadow Lines, In an Antique Land and Dancing in Cambodia. His epic novel, The Glass Palace, was an international bestseller and sold more than half a million copies in Britain alone. Ghosh has received France’s Prix Medici Etranger, India’s prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award, the UK’s Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction and a Pushcart Prize. Following Sea of Poppies, he is currently at work on the second book in his Ibis Trilogy.


American journalist Barbara Demick has served as the Beijing Bureau Chief of The Los Angeles Times since early 2009. She is the author of Logavina Street: Life and Death in a Sarajevo Neighborhood and the forthcoming Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea. Her series of articles on the war in Bosnia from 1994-1996 won the George Polk Award for International Reporting, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her reports on North Korea have won the Laurie Dine Award for Human Rights Reporting and the Asia Society’s Osborn Elliot Prize for Excellence in Asian Journalism.


Bi Feiyu was born in 1964 in Jiangsu Province. He began writing poetry and short stories in the mid-eighties, and has since been awarded the Lu Xun Literary Prize, China’s Fiction Society Award and the Feng Mu Prize for Literature. His novels, including The Moon Opera and Three Sisters, have been translated into over ten languages. He has worked as a reporter for the Nanjing Daily, and currently holds a post at the Jiangsu Writers Association. Bi Feiyu is a lively and accomplished speaker.


British Jamaican Rastafarian writer and dub poet

Benjamin Zephaniah was included in The Times 2008 list of Britain’s top 50 post-war writers. Zephaniah’s poetry emerged from the rhythms of Jamaican street and punk politics. By the time he was 15, he was already known among Handsworth’s Afro-Caribbean and Asian communities. His mission is to fight the dead image of poetry in academia and to “take poetry everywhere”. His books include Schools Out: Poems Not for School, Too Black, Too Strong, City Psalms, Refugee Boy and We are Britain.


Brigid Hughes is the founding editor of A Public Space, an independent magazine of literature and culture that debuted in 2006. The magazine is based in Brooklyn, where she also curates a fiction and film series with the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Previously, Hughes worked at The Paris Review, where she succeeded George Plimpton as editor in 2003.


Cathy Cassidy has always loved stories and dreaming. She is a top-selling children’s writer, and her 12 books are cool, quirky and often focus on friendship, family and the trials of growing up. They are not afraid to look at real-life and difficult issues, but always with warmth, hope and a real sense of magic. She lives in rural Scotland and is also a teen-mag agony aunt and sometimes a primary school art teacher. Her books include Angel Cake, Shine on Daizy Star, Ginger Snaps, Lucky Star, Scarlett and Driftwood.


Former Books Editor for the South China Morning Post, Chris Wood is the editor-in-chief of the Hong Kong-based Asia Literary Review, which aims to publish the best contemporary writing from and about Asia. The content of the ALR is as broad and diverse as the continent it seeks to represent, with works from both established writers and new voices.


Dublin-born Colum McCann is the author of two collections of short stories and five novels, including Dancer and Zoli, all of which were international best-sellers. His newest novel, Let the Great World Spin, won the National Book Award in 2009. His fiction has been published in 30 languages and has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, GQ, Paris Review, Bomb and other places. McCann currently teaches at Hunter College in New York, in the Creative Writing program, with fellow novelists Peter Carey and Nathan Englander.

**Colum McCann is appearing 26 January as part of our festival launch.


Leading Israeli novelist and peace activist David Grossman’s work has been translated into 25 languages and awarded numerous prizes, including the Prime Minister’s Prize for Creative Work, the Bialik Prize for Literature, and the Emet Prize. A strident voice for peace in the Middle East, Grossman was invited to give the Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture at the PEN World Voices Festival in 2007. He has written seven novels, short stories, novellas, journalism collections, a play and several books for younger readers. His novels, An Intimate Grammar and See Under: Love were named by the Institute of Hebrew Translation as two of the most important books since the creation of the State of Israel.

Image copyright Lucy Cavender


David Leffman first visited China in 1985 and studied Mandarin at SOAS, London, and Sichuan University, Chengdu. Since 1990 he has worked as a travel writer and photographer, co-authoring guidebooks for Rough Guides and Dorling Kindersley to Australia, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong and Iceland. He was also consultant editor on Kylie Kwong’s My China Cookbook. He spends his spare time cooking, hiking, scuba diving and getting beaten around by martial artists.


Derek Sandhaus is Chief Editor of Earnshaw Books and the author of Tales of Old Peking and Tales of Old Hong Kong. He is currently editing a collection on old Shanghai’s best-loved cartoonist, Sapajou, and the memoirs of the controversial sinologist Sir Edmund Backhouse. He studied philosophy and film at Brandeis University and moved from the US to China in 2006. Prior to joining Earnshaw Books, he wrote widely on Chinese history topics for magazines, blogs and podcasts.


Freelance writer Eileen Wen Mooney has been sampling food throughout Greater China for the past 25 years, from street stalls to small hutong eateries to posh contemporary restaurants. She has contributed articles to The Beijinger and has also served as restaurant editor for Fodor’s and Zagat Beijing. Wen Mooney is the author of Beijing Eats, the most comprehensive guide to Chinese dining in the capital. She blogs about all things food at


Evan Osnos joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2008. He is the magazine’s correspondent in China, where he has lived since 2005. His articles have focussed on China’s young neoconservatives, the rise and fall of a tycoon, the influx of African migrants, and the life of China’s best boxer. Previously, he worked as the Beijing bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune, where he contributed to a series that won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He has also worked as a correspondent for ‘Frontline/World,’ a public-television series. Before his appointment in China, he workedin the Middle East, reporting mostly from Iraq.


Graham Earnshaw is publisher of Earnshaw Books publishing house based in Hong Kong and a long-time student of China. Born in England, he moved to Hong Kong in 1973 and taught himself to read Chinese. He has served as Beijing Bureau Chief for both the London Daily Telegraph and Reuters, and is the author of Life and Death of a Dotcom in China, Tales of Old Shanghai and the English translation of the Jin Yong Kung Fu novel The Book and The Sword. Earnshaw also founded the China Reading Project, which donates books to schools in remote parts of China.


Guy Delisle is a comic book author from Quebec, Canada. After studying animation in Toronto, he worked for animation studios in Montreal, Germany, France, China and North Korea. His experiences as a supervisor of animation work of studios in Asia were recounted in the political graphic novels, The Burma Chronicles, Shenzhen and Pyongyang. Delisle’s work has been translated into many languages, including English, German, Italian, Polish and Spanish.


Harvey Thomlison is the founder of Make-Do Publishing, based in Hong Kong. Under its ‘Modern Chinese Masters’ imprint, Make-Do aims to challenge preconceptions about Chinese fiction, and has published English translations of Sheng Keyi, Jimmy Qi and the controversial Fujian writer Chen. Thomlinson’s own translation of Murong’s Leave Me Alone, Chengdu was long-listed for the Man Asia Literary prize, and his experimental novel The Strike, based on events in northeast China, was published by the UK literary journal Tears on the Fence.


Hong Ying was born in 1962 in Chongqing. She began to write at eighteen and spent ten years exploring her voice throughout China. Best known in English for the novels K: the Art of Love, Summer of Betrayal, and her autobiography Daughter of the River, she has been published in nineteen languages and has appeared on the bestseller lists of numerous countries. She is also the author of A Lipstick Called Red Pepper: Fiction about Gay and Lesbian Love in China 1993-1998. Her responsibility as a writer, she believes, is to explore the lives of marginalised groups struggling for visibility – and for compassion – in contemporary China.


In 1989, Jack Leblanc arrived at Chongqing University prepared to teach Quantum Physics but ended up teaching English Literature instead. In 1995, together with a Chinese lawyer, he established a law and consulting firm to assist Western companies seeking to expand into the Chinese market. Through this work, he witnessed many of the recurring predicaments Western companies often find themselves in, and published his findings in Business Republic of China.


Jane Macartney has worked on and off in China as a journalist since 1985. A first assignment with UPI included coverage of the rollercoaster late 1980s. After a respite in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she returned as Reuter’s Beijing Bureau Chief in 1995 for three years, an opportunity to glimpse China’s economy as it really began to gather steam and to observe the transfer of power when Deng Xiaoping passed away. Stints in London, Tokyo and Singapore followed before a chance to work for The Times in Beijing proved irresistible.


Jen Lin Liu is a Chinese-American writer and the founder of the Beijing cooking school Black Sesame Kitchen. A restaurant editor for Zagat Survey and the co-author of Frommer’s Beijing, she has also written for Newsweek, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Saveur, Food & Wine, and Time Out Beijing. Her debut non-fiction memoir, Serve the People, presents an aspiring cook’s tour of China’s changing landscape, from cuisine to consumption, as she works her way up from cooking school to noodle stall, dumpling house and trendy restaurant, with illuminating side trips en route.


Jeremy Goldkorn has lived in China since 1995 and is the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of, the most popular English language blog about media, advertising and urban life in China. Public Affairs magazine called Goldkorn “one of China’s most prolific and powerful social media commentators”. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, he has lived in a workers’ dormitory, ridden a bicycle across Xinjiang and Tibet, produced the documentary film African Roots of Beijing, and spent the last decade working in the Chinese media, advertising and Internet industries. His articles have appeared in many Chinese and foreign publications, including The Guardian and The New York Times.


Jill Dawson began her career in writing and publishing at the age of 22 by winning first prize in a national short story competition. She went on to win the Eric Gregory Award for poetry, and published her first novel, Trick of the Light, in 1996. She is the author of six novels, editor of six anthologies of poetry and short stories and has published one poetry pamphlet. Fred & Edie, her third novel, was shortlisted for both the Whitbread and Orange Prizes. Dawson is currently director of Gold Dust, a mentoring scheme for writers.


Author of 13 books, Jonathan Fenby’s most recent publication, The Penguin History of Modern China, was listed among the best books of 2008 by both The Economist and The Financial Times. Fenby worked as a journalist in Britain, France, Germany and Vietnam for publications including The Guardian and The Independent before becoming the editor of The South China Morning Post from 1995-1999. Currently based in London, he was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) and a knight in the French Order of Merit for Services to Journalism.


Jonathan Tel’s recent collection of short stories, The Beijing of Possibilities, blends elements of the surreal with carefully observed details of life in present-day Beijing. The stories offer a vicarious tour through modern Beijing and a long view of Chinese history. He is also the author of the story collection Arafat’s Elephant and the novel Freud’s Alphabet. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta and Zoetrope. He has worked as a quantum physicist and an opera librettist. While in New York, Tel writes about Beijing, and while in Beijing, he writes about New York.


Jonathan Watts is a Beijing-based correspondent for The Guardian and former president of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of China. In 2008, after reporting on Tibetan unrest, the Sichuan earthquake and the Beijing Olympics, he took a six-month break to write When a Billion Chinese Jump, a 100,000 kilometer environmental travelogue inspired by the question: “How screwed are we?” to be published by Faber next August. Recently, he took up a new post as Asia Environment Correspondent, and has covered the coal industry and the Copenhagen climate conference.


Canadian singer-songwriter Julie Doiron started her first band, Eric’s Trip, in 1990, and has been playing music professionally ever since. Known for her direct, painfully honest lyrics, her recently released I Can Wonder What You Did With Your Day embraces an electric indie past with a new, energetic phase of her solo career. Her previous album, Woke Myself Up, was shortlisted for the 2007 Polaris Prize, and a collaborative project with the Ottawa band Wooden Stars was awarded a Juno Award in 2000. Doiron has collaborated with numerous bands and musicians and appeared as a guest musician on The Tragically Hip’s Music at Work album.


Dominican-American Junot Diaz is the author of the short-story collection Drown and the novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2008 Pulitzer Prize. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, African Voices and Best American Short Stories. He is the recipient of a Eugene McDermott Award, a Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, and the 2002 PEN/Malamud Award. Diaz is currently fiction editor at the Boston Review and Professor of Creative Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Dr Ken Spillman is the author of more than 20 books including Blue and Love is a UFO, both highly acclaimed novels for teenagers. In 2008, Love is a UFO won a Western Australian Premier’s Award—the second of his career. Ken’s books for junior readers have been short-listed for a Wilderness Society Environment Award and a Young Readers Book Award, and his latest ‘Jake’ series has been signed to publishers in Australia and India for publication in five nations. He has also won a Fellowship of Australian Writers National Literary Award.


Lauren Child uses different media including magazine cuttings, collage, photography and traditional watercolours in her popular children’s books. Her most well-known work is Charlie and Lola, a series of picture books and now a children’s TV show. Charlie and Lola has been sold throughout the world, and has won BAFTA’s Best Children’s Television Show 2007 and Best Script 2007. In recent years, Child has travelled widely in her capacity as UNESCO artist for peace, and donated 100% of profits from her book That Pesky Rat to UNESCO’s programme for Education of Children in Need. Child lives in London.


Novelist and short story writer Li Er was born 1966 in Henan Province. He has published five story collections, two novels and almost 50 novellas and short stories. His work appears regularly in Zuojia, Shouhuo, Huacheng, Shucheng, Dajia, Renmin Wenxue, Shanhua, Shidai Wenxue. Although Li Er is still relatively unknown outside of China, he is widely respected in Chinese literary circles and has acquired a passionate – one might even say rabid – fan base of highly literate and intellectual readers and critics.


Lillian Chou is a freelance food writer and photographer and the food editor for Time Out Beijing. She is a former food editor for Gourmet and has written for LA Times and Food and Wine. Chou worked as a pastry chef with Jacques Torres at Le Cirque in New York and has cooked her way around the world. Her first stint in Asia lasted nearly eight years in Korea, Japan and Singapore, where she began to explore her own culinary roots, mining her memory of family dishes and recreating them. She also created the recipes for Chocolate Bar: Recipes and Entertaining Ideas for Living the Sweet Life.


Linda Jaivin is the author of five best-selling novels and a novella, including the comic-erotic cult classic Eat Me and her most recent book, A Most Immoral Woman. Linda is also a translator (from Chinese), essayist and writer on Chinese politics and culture, which she studied at university before spending nine years in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China as a student and journalist. Her previous books on China include the non-fiction novel Old Dreams: Chinese Rebel Voices, an anthology of translations co-edited with Geremie Barmé. Jaivin was The Bookworm 2008 writer-in-residence and is brought to you by the Australian Embassy Beijing’s 2010 Australian Writers’ Week.


Australian poet and critic Les Murray has published over thirty books and is regarded as one of the leading poets of his generation. His work is studied in schools and universities across Australia and has been translated into several foreign languages. In 1996, he was awarded the T.S. Eliot Prize for poetry, in 1998 the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry, and in 2004 the Mondello Prize. His most recent collections of work include The Biplane Houses, Fredy Neptune and Killing the Black Dog. Murray is brought to you by the Australian Embassy Beijing’s 2010 Australian Writers’ Week.


Lijia Zhang is a factory-worker-turned-writer, journalist and talk-show host. Her articles have appeared in many international publications, including South China Morning Post, Japan Times, The Observer, Newsweek, Asian Wall Street Journal and New York Times. Her memoir Socialism Is Great!, about her experience at a rocket factory in Nanjing in the 80’s, was first published in the US in 2008 and has been translated into numerous languages. She is a regular speaker on the BBC, Channel 4, CNN and National Public Radio in America. She is a recipient of the prestigious International Writers’ Program at the University of Iowa in 2009.


Liz Niven is a Scotland-based poet and editor. She teaches creative writing to adults and school pupils and has held writing fellowships across Scotland. Her poetry has been published in collections including Stravaigin, Burning Whins and Cracked Ice. The Shard Box, poems about Asia, will be published in 2010. She has collaborated with a variety of art forms to produce books, photographic cards and public art text-based installations. Niven has written and edited a wide range of award-winning language resources for the renaissance of the Scots Language in education and the community. She is a former editor of the Association of Scottish Literary Studies annual volume of new writing. She is delighted to return to The Bookworm International Festival where she was winner of Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match in 2009!


Louise Welsh is the author of four novels, The Cutting Room, Tamburlaine Must Die, The Bullet Trick and Naming the Bones (Canongate Books). Her first novel, The Cutting Room, won the 2002 Crime Writers Association John Creasey Memorial Dagger. She is the recipient of several awards, the most recent of which is the City of Glasgow Lord Provost’s Award for Literature. Her work has been translated into 20 languages. Welsh lives in Glasgow.


Writer, editor and journalist Miao Wei is currently the Deputy Editor-in-Chief at Sanlian Life Weekly. He has published a collection of essays titled You Xiang Fa, Mei Ban Fa, and the just-released short story collection entitled Chu Fei Ling Hun Pai Shou Zuo Ge. Although widely known in literary circles throughout China, Miao Wei’s work has yet to be translated into English.


Mike Meyer first went to China in 1995 with the Peace Corps. A long-time teacher and Lowell Thomas Award winner for travel-writing, Meyer has published short stories in Time, Smithsonian, The New York Times Book Review and The Financial Times. In China, he has represented the National Geographic Society’s Centre for Sustainable Destinations, training China’s UNESCO World Heritage site managers in preservation practices. His first book, The Last Days of Old Beijing, published in 2008, is an intimate portrait of Beijing’s oldest neighbourhoods in the face of relentless modernization.


Murong Xuecun is one of China’s most famous contemporary authors. After graduating from Beijing’s University of Political Science and Law, he worked in the car industry. When his 2002 novel Leave Me Alone, Chengdu (originally published as Chengdu, Jin Ye Qing Jiang Wo Yiwang) took China by storm, Murong gave up his job and devoted himself to writing full time. He has published five novels in China. Leave Me Alone, Chengdu is his first novel to be translated into English.


Nikki Anderson has worked in the literary arena for over a decade: as a literary agent in Spain and Australia; managing the schools’ programme at the Melbourne Writers’ Festival; assisting writers-in-residence as part of Asialink’s residency program; and planning and executing tours of high-profile authors throughout Asia. She currently works as a literary consultant, editor and writer based in Melbourne, Australia and is coordinator of the Australian Embassy Beijing’s Australian Writers’ Week.


Paul French is a writer and analyst based in Shanghai. His previous books include North Korea – the Paranoid Peninsula, Carl Crow: A Tough Old China Hand, and most recently Through the Looking Glass: China’s Foreign Journalists from Opium Wars to Mao. He is currently working on a book detailing the horrific and unsolved murder of a young English woman in Peking in 1937 to be published by Penguin in 2011 as A Peking Murder.


Peter Hessler is best known for his autobiographical novel on China, River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze, a Kiriyama Prize-winning book about his experiences as a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English. He is the former Beijing correspondent for the New Yorker and a frequent contributor to National Geographic, and his work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal. His novel Oracle Bones: A Journey Between China’s Past and Present, reflects upon his life in Beijing since 1999 and traces the roots of today’s modern China. His latest book is Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory.


Filmmaker Ram Devineni’s most recent film Vegas: Based on a True Story was selected for competition at the 2008 Venice Film Festival and the 2008 São Paulo International Film Festival. He is currently at work on a documentary about the poet Allen Ginsberg’s life in India, and a TV series on endangered languages with the poet Bob Holman. One of the founders of the first independent film schools in São Paulo, Brazil, Academia Internacional de Cinema, Devineni is also the founder of Rattapallax,Inc., which publishes poetry books and DVDs, and has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and The New York State Council for the Arts.


Robert Dessaix is a writer, interviewer, translator and broadcaster, whose artistic work concentrates on themes of belief, sexuality, language and travel. After studying in Moscow in the 70s and teaching Russian language and literature at the Australian National University and University of NSW, he presented the weekly Books and Writing program on ABC’s Radio National for ten years. Popular for his wit, charm and knowledge as a presenter, in more recent years he has presented various radio series on language, public intellectuals and great travellers in history. Robert’s best-known books, published around the world, are the autobiography A Mother’s Disgrace, the novels Night Letters and Corfu, a collection of essays and short stories, and so forth, and the travel memoir Twilight of Love. His books have earned him many Australian book prizes, notably the 1997 Australian Literature Society Gold Medal for Night Letters. His most recent books are Arabesques and On Humbug. He has also published translations of works by Chekhov, Dostoyevsky and Turgenev.


Artist, poet and musician Scott Ezell has a Master’s degree in comparative Chinese and American poetry and has studied landscape painting and calligraphy in China. His oil paintings combine the aesthetic of Eastern landscapes with Western colour and industrialism to explore the interface of landscapes and states of consciousness. In 2004, Ezell collaborated with local Beijing artists to produce “Urban Hieroglyphics,” a performance piece combining improvised painting, music and dance. Ezell has collaborated with local artists from Taiwan, and has held exhibitions in his hometown Seattle at the Center on Contemporary Art and the Hengst Studio.


A powerful and inspiring artist, Steve Connell is a captivating presence on stage. He has won many national poetry slam competitions, and his work has been published in an American anthology entitled Why Freedom Matters. An accomplished actor and musician as well, his first album, The Intimate Nature of Knife Fights, continues to win him critical praise. Connell recently concluded the initial run of his own hit one-man show, 40 Days, which he brings to China in a very special edition exclusively for audiences at The Bookworm.


Malaysian writer Tash Aw’s first 2005 novel, The Harmony Silk Factory, won both the Whitbread Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Novel of the Year, and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. His second novel, Map of the Invisible World, set in post-Independence Indonesia and Malaysia, was published in 2009. His commentary on South East Asian arts and culture frequently appears on the BBC, and his fiction has been translated into 23 languages.


Xiong Liang, originally from Zhejian Province, China, is renowned for his poetry-prose, powerfully emotive paintings and children’s book illustrations. Drawing from the rhythmic lines of traditional Chinese art, Xiong’s work undertakes many different styles to emphasise that painting is a marriage of form and spirit. He has written and illustrated a number of children’s books, including Little Stone Lion, a whimsical and inventive tale of a stone-carved lion that guards a small Chinese village’s collective memory.


Born in Jiangsu Province in 1978, Xu Zechen is currently an editor at People’s Literature Magazine. He is the author of two novels, Midnight’s Door and Night Train, as well as the short-story collections How Geese Fly Up to Heaven and Heaven on Earth. Hello Beijing, a movie based on his novel We Meet in Beijing, won the 14th Beijing Student Film Festival Award for Best Television Movie. Xu Zechen also co-wrote the screen play My Hard Boat, which was awarded best foreign picture at the Action on Film International Film Festival. A member of the Chinese Writer’s Association, Xu Zechen’s work has received numerous literary awards, including the West Lake Chinese New Writers’ Award, and has been translated into German, Korean, English and Dutch.


Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Song County, Henan Province. He began writing in 1979, and his main works include the novels Serve the People, The Passing and Dream of Ding Village, as well as a short-story collection. He holds a degree from the People’s Liberation Army Institute of the Arts and Literature, and has been awarded the Lu Xun Literacy Award two years in a row and the Lao She Literary Award. His work has been translated into over 20 languages, including Japanese, Vietnamese and Serbian.


Singaporean poet Yong Shu Hoong has published three books of poetry, including Frottage, which won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2006, and Pangs of Hunger, which was shortlisted for the 1995 Singapore Literature Prize. His poems have been included in literary journals, as well as anthologies like Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond. A freelance journalist, he has written for publications like The Straits Times and South China Morning Post. His soon-to-be-published collection of poems is entitled From Within the Marrow.


Zoe Heller was born in London, England. She began her career as a journalist and her writing has appeared in many publications, including the London and New York Times, The New Yorker magazine, Vanity Fair and the London Review of Books. Her first novel, Everything You Know, was published in 1999. Her second novel Notes on a Scandal was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and was made into an Oscar-nominated film starring Cate Blanchett and Dame Judi Dench. Her latest novel, The Believers, was published in 2009. She lives in New York.


Zoë Strachan is the author of Negative Space and Spin Cycle, which won a Betty Trask Award and was short-listed for the Saltire First Book of the Year Award. Strachan also writes short stories, essays, journalism, drama and radio pieces. She has received two writer’s bursaries from the Scottish Arts Council, a Hawthornden Fellowship and was UNESCO City of Literature writer-in-residence at the National Museum of Scotland. She lives in Glasgow where she teaches creative writing at Glasgow University, and is currently finishing her third novel, Play Dead.