Bookworm Happenings 2005 – 2006


Abrahamsen, Eric

Aldrich, Michael

Beal, Tim

Becker, Jasper

Bell, Daniel

Bidini, Dave

Bonner, Nick

Brahm, Lawrence J

Brooks, Geraldine

Brown, Lester

Chang, Gordon

Chun Shu

Cotter, David

Crow, Dennis George

Elegant, Robert

Fan Wu


Fratti, Mario

Freidman Thomas

French, Paul

Gargan, Edward

Gaita, Raymond

Gao Xiaolu

Gao Hodges, Graham Russell

Gifford, Rob

Goodall, Dr Jane

Graddol, David

Griffith, Firth

Gray, Nathan Hotorua

Harkness, James

Harris Rees, Charlotte

Hartnett, Sonya

Hessler, Peter

Howie, Fraser

Jocelyn, Ed

Kedl, Kent

Kesey, Roy

Kynge, James

Lanfranco, Ed

Larmer, Brook

Lui Gang

Logan, Pamela

Lynton, Ronnie

Macleod, Calum

McGregor, James

Ma Jian

Marchetta, Melina

McEwen, Andrew

Menzies, Gavin

Niven, Liz

Nombri, Sir Joseph

Opium Literary Magazine

Phathanothai, Sirin

Pilkington, Doris

Pomfret John

Rittenberg Sidney

Robinson, Eric

Rogers, Benedict

Sampson, Catherine

Saran, Mishi

Schafer, Nathaly

Schell, Orville

Sun Shuyun

Smith, Karen

Spindler, David

Trebach, Arnold S

Willcocks, Sir David

Williams, Adam

Willoughby, Anthony









Abrahamsen, Eric

The Essays of George Orwell

January 10th 2007

As part of our series of Penguin Classics Literary Lunches, writer and translator Eric Abrahamsen explores the essays and polemic of the great George Orwell. Describing Orwell’s zero tolerance for sloppy language and political doublespeak, Abrahamsen makes fresh observations on the relevance of Orwell’s work for China.


Becker, Jasper

North Korea: Rogue Regime

October 18th 2005

Veteran correspondent Jasper Becker (The Chinese, Hungry Ghosts, Dragon Rising) brings his unique insight and vast experience as a journalist in Asia to bear in his latest book, this time exposing the fascinating world of the hermit kingdom, North Korea. North Korea: Rogue Regime explores life for the world’s most isolated citizens, investigates the life of Kim Jong Il, and poses the ultimate question: should the nations of the world allow this regime to survive?


Brooks, Geraldine


June 28th 2006

A matter of weeks after being awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, Bookworm are delighted to play host to writer Geraldine Brooks. Having served as a war correspondent in some of the world’s most conflict-ravaged areas, and now a respected commentator for the New York Times, the standard of Brooks’ fiction clearly matches that of her journalism. Tonight Bookworm audiences are treated to a reading from her prize winning novel March, which takes as it’s inspiration the character of Mr March from Louisa May Alcott’s much-loved Little Women.


Brown, Lester

Plan B

June 30th 2006

Author Lester Brown, founder of the Worldwatch Institute and head of the Earth Policy Institute, makes a special Bookworm appearance to discuss his new book, Plan B : Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilisation in Trouble. As well as highlighting the terrible things we’re doing to our planet, Lester Brown also provides helpful, practical approaches and solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing the environment today.


Chang, Gordon

North Korea: Nuclear Showdown

March 14th 2006

Asia expert Gordon Chang follows up his controversial success, The Coming Collapse of China, with the first book to discuss the full extent of the North Korean nuclear threat, its origins, international implications, and possible solutions.


Clissold, Tim

Mr China

February 21st 2006

The ultimate ‘How Not To Do Business in China’ book, Mr China is Tim Clissold’s account of the exhilirating highs and barely believable lows of one of the first joint venture companies to attempt to break the Chinese market. A mix of adventure, farce and high finance, Mr China tells the story of a Wall Street banker, an ex Red guard and an optimistic Englishman who invested – and lost – nearly $400 million dollars in the space of a few short, but life-changing years.


Fan Wu

February Flowers

September 12th 2006

Fan Wu represents a new wave of Chinese writers living and working overseas but drawing on their formative years in China as inspiration for fresh, lively and necessary writing. Her first novel, February Flowers was chosen by Pan Macmillan as the novel to launch their brand new publishing imprint, Picador Asia, headed up by Toby Eadie, best known for bringing Chinese writers such as Jung Chang and Xinran to international audiences.


Friedman, Thomas

The World is Flat

12th November 2006

Foreign Affairs columnist for The New York Times, Thomas Friedman is a world renowned commentator on the forces political, cultural and economic that are changing and shaping the world as we know it. Thrice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, he discusses his prize winning book ‘The World is Flat’ (Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year 2005)  with Bookworm audiences.


Gao Hodges, Graham Russell

"Anna May Wong: From Laundryman’s Daughter to Hollywood Legend"  

A Booktalk by Graham Russell Gao Hodges

16th January 2007

Anna May Wong was a massive star of stage and screen from the 1920’s until her premature death in the late 1960’s. Glamorous, exotic and a ruthless self promoter, she was the ultimate Hollywood woman, starring alongside the likes of Anthony Quinn, Marlene Dietrich and Lawrence Olivier. However, abject racism in Hollywood, and derision from her fellow Chinese countrymen for the stereotypical Asian female image she was accused of portraying meant she struggled throughout her life, and fell into obscurity after her death. A fascinating look at the life of the first Asian woman on the silver screen, as described in a meticulously researched biography. This evening, Graham Hodges brings an array of Anna May memorabilia, including a clip from her classic film ‘Piccadilly’.


Gray, Nathan Hotorua

First Pass Under Heaven

23rd November 2006

Nathan Gray was part of a five man team who attempted the dizzying feat of walking the length of the Great Wall in 2004. His book, First Pass Under Heaven, describes their fascinating adventure, which eventually included everything from being struck by lightning to being held in police custody. Tonight he reads excerpts from First Pass, as well as inviting some Maori friends along to bless the evening’s proceedings…


Jocelyn, Ed

The Long March

December 2006

In 2003, Ed Jocelyn and Andy McEwen walked the entire trail followed by the 5th Red Army in 1934. Famously arduous, and spanning somewhere in the region of 5000km, the journey was certainly not for the faint hearted. Begun as a social history project to interview veterans of the original Communist Long March, Ed and Andy’s journey became first a sensational story in the Chinese media, and then a successful book, published in the UK by Constable and Robinson. But while Andy promoted the book, Ed was off completing ‘The Long March 2’ – exploring the routes taken by the less famous red armies during the 1930’s. Tonight he describes his second long march, which this time brought him into contact with many of the ethnic minorities who live in China’s remote Western regions.


Kynge, James

China Shakes the World

March 2006

Winner of the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year 2006, China Shakes the World has quickly risen to the top of the list of ‘China must reads’ for anyone interested in the political and social future of China, and the impact its unstoppable rise is having on everyone else. Financial Times correspondent and seasoned China-watcher James Kynge is an essential voice in the debat – not to be missed!


Ma Jian

29th August 2006

Outspoken, challenging and charming, Ma Jian is one of the most strident voices in Chinese writing today. Now resident in London, his previous work (Red Dust, The Noodlemaker) has caused controversy in China since he began writing in the late 1980’s. Tonight he reads from Stick Out Your Tongue, a collection of short stories set in contemporary Tibet. By turns shocking, hilarious and bitingly satirical, Stick Out Your Tongue is classic Ma Jian, and a highlight on our literary calendar.


McEwen, Andrew

The Long March

May 2006

In 2003, Ed Jocelyn and Andy McEwen walked the entire trail followed by the 5th Red Army in 1934. Famously arduous, and spanning somewhere in the region of 5000km, the journey was certainly not for the faint hearted. Begun as a social history project to interview veterans of the original Communist Long March, Ed and Andy’s journey became first a sensational story in the Chinese media, and then a successful book, published in the UK by Constable and Robinson. Andy describes their journey, and shows some of the amazing archive of photos and footage they collated over their year-long odyssey.


McGregor, James

One Billion Customers

October 11th 2005

As former The Wall Street Journal China bureau chief turned successful corporate executive James McGregor explains, nothing about doing business in China is easy. One Billion Customers shows how to navigate the often treacherous waters of Chinese deal making.  Brilliantly written by an author who has lived in China for nearly two decades, the book reveals indispensable, street-smart strategies, tactics, and lessons for succeeding in the world’s fastest growing consumer market.


Pilkington, Doris

Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence

September 11th 2005

Doris Pilkington (Nugi Garimara) was born on Balfour Downs Station in Western Australia. As a toddler she was removed by authorities from her home, along with her mother Molly Craig and baby sister, and committed to Moore River Native Settlement, the same institution Molly had escaped from ten years previously, the story of which is told in Pilkington’s Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence. Internationally acclaimed, and filmed as ‘Rabbit Proof Fence’ in 2002, Doris Pilkington’s story is by turns touching and shocking.


Pomfret, John

Chinese Lessons

October 10th 2006

A rare opportunity to hear from John Pomfret, an award winning journalist currently firmly positioned at the top of the hotlist of China commentators. John Pomfret came to China to study at Nanjing University in 1981. Immersing himself in Chinese society and culture, he gained a unique insight into China at a time when few foreigners had the opportunity. His brand new book, ‘Chinese Lessons’, published in August this year, tells the stories of his classmates at Nan Da, recounting how their lives have been shaped by the rise of ‘new China’ over the past thirty years.


Rittenberg, Sidney

The Man Who Stayed Behind

October 25th 2006

In China from World War Two until the eve of the economic reforms at the end of the 1970’s, Sidney Rittenberg saw the change and development of China throughout three and a half turbulent decades as no other foreigner could. Member of the Communist party, translator to Mao, and eventually a political prisoner, Rittenberg endured unbelievable hardship, whilst maintaining an unshakeable faith in China and the Chinese people. This talk represents a unique opportunity to hear from a truly remarkable ‘old China hand.’



Ma Jian

James Kynge

Tim Clissold

Sidney Rittenberg

Geraldine Brooks

Lester Brown

Thomas Friedman

James McGregor

Fan Wu

Doris Pilkington

John Pomfret


Photography by Lucy Cavender

The Bookworm

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Chao Yang District, Beijing
100000, P.R. China

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Email: [email protected]

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