Archive for the ‘BLF’ Category

Meet an Author: Xinran, “mother and moral crusader”

Mar 04, 2009 Xinran is a Chinese author. Her book is The Good women of China. FYI she has one painted fingernail .. not sure of significance ..if any. Toronto Star/Michael Stuparyk

Xue Xinran, who writes under the pen name Xinran, found fame in China between 1989 and 1997 as host of the popular call-in radio program “Words on the Night Breeze.” She has since written several books that has won her an international following. Her first book, The Good Women of China, was an international bestseller upon publication in 2002. She followed up with Sky Burial, a true account of a Han woman’s journey and experiences in Tibet. Her latest book, reviewed below by Laurie O’Donnell, is Buy Me the Sky: The Remarkable Truth of China’s One-Child Generations. (more…)

Meet an Author: A Yi and his unflinching portraits of modern China

A Yi

A Yi (real name Ai Guozhu) is “one of the most gifted Chinese authors in recent times,” according to Nobel-nominated poet Bei Dao. His star has been rising in the global literary scene as well: he’s been published in Granta and The Guardian, and A Perfect Crime, his first novel translated into English, was published in June 2015. He is the author of two other novels in Chinese, Now, What Shall I Do Next? and Where Is Spring, and the short story collections Grey Stories and The Bird Saw Me. Before settling down at age 32 to write fiction, A Yi worked as a police officer, secretary, and editor, with a brief stint as editor-in-chief of the edgy literary magazine Chutzpah. (more…)

A Closer Look at the 10th Bookworm Literary Festival

BLF 2016 logo OFFICIAL

By the numbers, this year’s Bookworm Literary Festival is our largest ever, featuring more than 180 writers, thinkers, and performers hailing from over 30 countries. From March 11 to 27, they will converge across three Bookworm cities (Beijing, Chengdu, Suzhou) plus Ningbo and Shanghai to participate in 300-some events, including book talks, panel discussions, performances, and workshops. As always, there will be children’s events, comedy, screenings, and a strong bilingual element. (more…)

2016 BLF Program Available for Download, Tickets Now on Sale

BLF 2016 cover (smaller size)

We’re still a few days away from getting our hands on the printed program, but those with Internet connections can download an advance copy of the 2016 Bookworm Literary Festival brochure. It’s 96 pages cover to cover, which makes it our largest ever. (more…)

Physical Tickets for BLF 2016 On Sale This Wednesday

BLF 2016 Ticket 1

Physical tickets for the 2016 Bookworm Literary Festival go on sale tomorrow — that’s Wednesday, February 24 — at start of business day (9 am).

You can also, of course, continue to purchase tickets from online (and pick them up from The Bookworm any time). Either way, check out our program, and let us know if you have any questions.


Introducing: China’s Future Perfect

China Future Perfect

China’s had an eventful year-and-a-half, and to take a closer look, the Bookworm Literary Festival is presenting a series of panel discussions — 13 in total — that cover this country’s environment, civil society, economy, foreign policy, arts and culture, religion, tech, and more. Our goal is to promote discourse about contemporary Chinese society, culminating in an event that asks: what does China’s “perfect future” look like? (more…)

ANNOUNCING: The 2016 Bookworm Literary Festival Schedule

BLF 2016 logo OFFICIAL

It’s here: the 2016 Bookworm Literary Festival schedule of events. A limited number of tickets will be made available in an online pre-sale that begins Friday, February 19 at 2 pm. (more…)

Look at All Our New Literary Festival Books


We just got our first shipment of books by Bookworm Literary Festival authors, and by goodness we shouldn’t be this excited. Check out all these goodies: (more…)

First Look at the International Authors for the 10th Bookworm Literary Festival

Logo 2016 BLF magenta map (smaller)

The Bookworm Literary Festival (BLF) is one of the largest bilingual cultural events in China and among the most prestigious literary festivals in the world. Can you believe we’re celebrating our 10th anniversary — an entire decade! — this March? (more…)

Asymptote’s Sinophone “20 under 40” list

Asymptote, an online journal of literature from around the globe, will be celebrating its second anniversary at The Bookworm next Thursday in a special event on “Chinese Literature in Translation” with Pathlight magazine.

Last year, the journal’s editors compiled a Sinophone “20 Under 40” list profiling twenty of the most promising young authors in the Chinese-speaking world.

On the list: A Yi, who will be speaking at BLF 2013.

The piece calls A Yi “The Bullet that cuts through reality and absurdity” and continues:

A Yi is a writer who has known hardship. In the time he spent as a police officer, he encountered many corpses, each having met with a very specific and cruel death. The deaths’ specificity was what made them real to him; their cruelty made them stories waiting to be told. In the short story “Never Meant to Kill,” he tells one such tale, and even gives his real name (Ai Guozhu) to one of the dead people in the story.

An admirer of literature with depth and technique, A Yi’s own work sparkles with intelligence. Life may cheat you, he has said, and it may go on cheating you, but you shouldn’t cheat yourself. A Yi may not know which is the right way forward, but he has a high regard for the body—for its ability to react violently–, and for the human spirit and its propensity for independence. His stories have a common thread: Oppression and vulgarity are always defeated, freedom always the hard-earned prize….

In the chilling short story “First to Know,” the introspective protagonists believe that life is just killing time between active and passive modes, between the intentional and the unintentional. If these characters seem to contain shades of Borges and Camus, A Yi would add Faulkner, Alessandro Baricco, and Isaac Bashevis Singer to the list of writers he takes a page from. Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, Marquez, Yu Hua, and especially Kafka are other acknowledged influences. Yet this should not be understood as stealing from these masters: as much as A Yi has familiarized himself with the style of these western greats, he has at the same time rooted his work in a Chinese reality. Far from being stiff copies, his works, rendered in an utterly contemporary voice, burst with personality and soul. No wonder Bei Dao praised him as one of the best novelists writing in Chinese today.

Check Asymptote’s website for the entire feature.

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