Australian Embassy
China

Australian Writers Week in China 2018

Celebrated authors announced for 2018 Australian Writers Week in China

 

Prize-winning Australian authors, Richard Flanagan, Charlotte Wood, Alexis Wright and Fiona Wright, will take part in the 11th Australian Writers Week in China, to be launched on 15 March in Beijing.

The event forms part of the new Australian Writers Series – the Australian Embassy’s initiative to bring more Australian literary voices to China throughout the year. 

Australia’s Ambassador to China Jan Adams said the initiative raised the profile of Australian authors in the Chinese market and helped build a stronger relationship with Chinese publishers and readers.

“By providing opportunities for Australian voices and stories to be shared with Chinese audiences, the Australian Writers Series helps raise awareness of contemporary Australia and leads to greater mutual understanding between our two countries,” she said.

This year, Australian Writers Week includes Man Booker Prize winner Richard Flanagan and also focuses on women’s contribution to literature with three Stella Prize authors: Charlotte Wood, Alexis Wright and Fiona Wright.

They will be in conversation with high-profile Chinese writers including Yu Hua, Zhang Yueran, Liang Hong, Sheng Keyi and Xiao Bai.

Events will be held at the Bookworm and Shanghai International Literary Festivals, bookshops, libraries and universities across eight cities in China: Beijing, Chengdu, Foshan, Guangzhou, Hohhot, Shanghai, Suzhou and Ulanqab. 

The Stella prize is named after one of Australia’s iconic female authors, Stella Maria Sarah ‘Miles’ Franklin.  It seeks to bring more readers to books by women and recognise female writers’ contribution to literature.

Australian Writers Week in China (15-24 March 2018) is presented by the Australian Embassy in Beijing, Consulates-General in Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai, and is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. Chief Executive of the Copyright Agency, Adam Suckling, said “The Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund is very pleased to support Australian Writers Week in China to promote Australian writers to new readers and to encourage the translation and publication of their work. China is an important market for Australian literature and over the years we have continued to build on our relationship with bookshops, libraries, schools and universities there through Australian Writers Week.”

 

#AustralianWritersWeek

 

ABOUT THE AUSTRALIAN AUTHORS

ABOUT THE GUEST AUTHORS

 

PUBLIC PROGRAMS

 

Beijing

Friday 16 March

 

 

Fiona Wright and Zhang Yueran Creative Writing Workshop

Friday 16 March, 10:00 - 12:00

Renmin University of China

Fiona Wright visits the Renmin University creative writing program, headed by authors Yan Lianke, Liang Hong, and Zhang Yueran, and discusses creative writing workshops and writer development in Australia and China.

By invitation only

 

Australian Literature in the Global Context of Multiculturalism

Guests: Richard Flanagan and Alexis Wright

Moderator: Wang Jinghui, PhD supervisor, Professor of Comparative Literature and World Literature, Deputy Director of Australian Studies Centre, Tsinghua University

Friday 16 March, 14:00 – 16:00

Peking University, Lecture Room 501, New Building, School of Foreign Languages

Language: En

The two speakers, Alexis Wright and Richard Flanagan, will each address the audience on the theme “Australian Literature in the Global Context of Multiculturalism”, with reference to their own writing experiences and their understanding of Australian literature’s value and meaning for Chinese readers.

 

Staying Rooted in Inhospitable Soil: Alexis Wright in Conversation with Liang Hong

Guests: Alexis Wright, Liang Hong

Moderator: Dave Haysom

Friday 16 March, 19:00-21:00

One Way Street·Aiqinhai Store, Room 3025, 3 Floor, Aiqinhai Shopping Centre, 12 Qisheng Middle Rd., Chaoyang District

Free, registration essential 

Language: En | Ch

Chinese and Aboriginal Australian cultures are as deeply rooted to place as any in the world. Aboriginal story-telling blends genealogy with geography, while the Chinese keep meticulous family records, and even after generations of migration still keep track of their ancestral origins. Yet in both places the incursions of modernity have began to break down these traditional connections to place. Alexis Wright’s work, in both fiction and nonfiction, illustrates Aboriginal people’s deep connection to place, a connection that is threatened by Australia’s economic and political imperatives. Liang Hong’s nonfiction work China in One Village recounts the breathtaking speed with which the traditional social structures of China’s countryside have collapsed. Tonight these two authors discuss what is lost when land is lost, and the possibility of recovery.

 

Richard Flanagan: The Alchemy of Story

Moderator:Eric Abrahamsen

Friday 16 March, 20:00-21:30

The Bookworm, Building 4, Sanlitun South Rd,
Chaoyang District

60 RMB entry (includes a drink); Bookings essential

Language: En

Over the course of seven novels, Richard Flanagan’s writing has ranged from stories of intense personal meaning to subjects of burning social and historical significance. In The Narrow Road to the Deep North the author combined these two elements into a potent organic whole that won the 2014 Man Booker Prize. His work continually fuses, in different configurations, story-telling in its many guises: Tasmanian history, personal recollection, deliberate myth-making and, in his formal experimentation and ever-changing voice, the story and history of the novel itself. Tonight, he speaks on the nature of an author’s relationship to material, and the dissolution of the self within story. 

 

Saturday 17 March

 

History in Literature: Australia's Today and Yesterday

Guests: Richard Flanagan, Alexis Wright | Commentator: Tsinghua Australian Studies Centre Professor Wang Jinghui

Moderator: Manling, Host of “Alight on Literature”, CRI China Plus

Saturday 17 March, 10:30-12:00

FLTRP Bookstore Coffee Shop (2nd Floor, Beiwai International Building, Beijing Foreign Studies University West Campus, West 3rd Ring Road North No. 19, Haidian District, Beijing)

Free to attend, registration essential

Language: En

Two renowned Australian writers- 2014 “Man Booker Prize” winner Richard Flanagan and 2006 “Miles Franklin Literary Award” winner Alexis Wright, are joined by Professor Wang Jinghui from Tsinghua University, to discuss their award-winning books and the history of Australia depicted in the literary works. Manling, host of “Alight on Literature”, China Plus Radio’s daily show on literature, hosts the event.

 

Fiona Wright: Life in Miniature

Guests: Fiona Wright, Liu Liduo

Moderator:Eric Abrahamsen

Saturday 17 March, 12:00-13:30

The Bookworm, Building 4, Sanlitun South Rd,
Chaoyang District

60 RMB entry (includes a drink); Bookings essential

Language: En | Ch

Interpreter Provided by Bookworm

“The world seems to shrink, just as the body does, and by doing so it seems to come back under our command.” Fiona Wright’s most recent collection of essays, “Small Acts of Disappearance”, details her experience with an eating disorder – her attempt, through the exercise of hunger and reduction of the physical self, to regain some measure of control over the world. Wright is also an accomplished poet, and she is joined tonight by Liu Liduo, a young Chinese poet and writer whose most recent book is a collection of more than seventy short-stories on love and the city. In tonight’s event they discuss the appeal of short form – the exercise and abandonment of control, the fascination with detail, and the beauty of the self-contained miniature.

 

Alexis Wright: Story as Law

Saturday 17 March, 14:00-15:30

The Bookworm, Building 4, Sanlitun South Rd,
Chaoyang District

60 RMB entry (includes a drink); Bookings essential

Language: En

The Aboriginal people of Australia maintain the world’s most ancient storytelling tradition: tales which serve simultaneously as origin myths, collective memories, geographical schematics, and social strictures. Alexis Wright, renowned novelist and Australia’s foremost voice on Aboriginal history and rights, has recently taken a new position at the University of Melbourne to research and document these “story laws”. In this event she introduces the nature of the Aboriginal stories, and explains their seminal influence on her own work, including Carpentaria (2006), which tells the story of Desperance, a fictional town in northwest Queensland; The Swan Book (2013), a magical-realist fable of environmental and social collapse; and Tracker, a collective memoir of an influential Aboriginal leader, recently nominated for the Stella Prize.

 

Historical Dialects: Richard Flanagan in Conversation with Yu Hua

Guests: Richard Flanagan, Yu Hua

Moderator: Wu Qi

Saturday 17 March, 14:30-16:30

One Way Street·Aiqinhai Store, Room 3025, 3 Floor, Aiqinhai Shopping Centre, 12 Qisheng Middle Rd., Chaoyang District

Free, registration essential 

Language: En | Ch

The representation of historical suffering in fiction is a challenge for the author: to make the weight of history bearable for the reader, and to negotiate the aesthetics of pain. Tonight’s authors discuss their narrative approaches to historical subjects. Yu Hua’s To Live, known as one of the most effective fictional evocations of the Cultural Revolution, is a masterpiece of simplicity and plain language, while in later works such as Brothers he’s taken a more maximalist approach. Richard Flanagan, in novels such as The Sound of One Hand Clapping, Gould’s Book of Fish, and The Narrow Road to the Deep North, has experimented with a wide variety of voices, rooted in his family’s experiences, and the experiences of others. The two authors discuss their matching of fictional voice to historical material.

 

Sunday 18 March

 

Swan Songs, Siren Songs

Guests: Alexis Wright, Li Ping, Chen Hongyu (Douban writer), Catclaw San (Douban Writer)

Moderator: Eric Abrahamsen

Sunday 18 March, 14:30-16:30

CITIC Bookstore, Parkview Green, B2, 9 Dongdaqiao Rd, Chaoyang District

Language: En | Ch

Speculative fiction is a double-edged sword, warning of future dangers on the one hand, but also always suffused with the allure of the possible. Tonight’s three authors approach the unknown and unknowable in very different ways: Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book is a nightmarish fable of a time when both the natural and political worlds have come to the verge of collapse. Chen Hongyu’s stories feature younger characters negotiating the pitfalls of vaster worlds, both past and future. Catclaw San takes a more evocative approach to the psychology of the otherworldly in his speculative fiction. Join our three authors as they introduce their respective unseen worlds, and discuss the prophetic power of fiction. 

 

Shanghai

 

Sunday 18 March

 

Richard Flanagan: The Alchemy of Story

Moderator:Zhou Xiaojin

Sunday 18 March, 14:00-16:00

Glam, No.5 The Bund (corner of Guangdong Lu)

85 RMB / 40 RMB (for students) entry; Bookings Essential

Language: En

Over the course of seven novels, Richard Flanagan’s writing has ranged from stories of intense personal meaning to subjects of burning social and historical significance. In The Narrow Road to the Deep North the author combined these two elements into a potent organic whole that won the 2014 Man Booker Prize. His work continually fuses, in different configurations, story-telling in its many guises: Tasmanian history, personal recollection, deliberate myth-making and, in his formal experimentation and ever-changing voice, the story and history of the novel itself. Tonight he speaks on the nature of an author’s relationship to material, and the dissolution of the self within story. 

 

Life in Wartime; A Lifetime in War: Richard Flanagan on The Narrow Road to the Deep North

Guests: Richard Flanagan, Xiaobai

Moderator: Zhang Yuzhen

Sunday 18 March, 19:00 - 21:00

Zhongshuge Bookstore, 1st Floor, Greenland Binfen City, No 759 Hualongzhonglu, Xuhui, Shanghai

Free to attend, no need for registration

Language: En | Ch

 

Thursday 22 March

 

Dystopia and the Maiden

Guests: Charlotte Wood, Sheng Keyi 

Moderator:Eric Abrahamsen

Thursday 22 March, 18:00-20:00

Glam, No.5 The Bund (corner of Guangdong Lu)

85 RMB / 40 RMB (for students)entry; Bookings Essential

Language: En | Ch

When repression intrudes into a society by degrees, it is felt first by the powerless of that society: its poor, its minorities, its women. The rights of the defenseless are the first to be compromised – but the process rarely stops there. Tonight’s authors have both envisioned, in allegorical or imagined form, the dangers of repression: what might have been; what has already happened; what might yet be. Charlotte Wood’s most recent novel, The Natural Way of Things, winner of the 2016 Stella Prize, imagines a near future where subtle misogyny has festered to the bursting point. Sheng Keyi’s Death Fugue, published in Australia in 2014, is a more overtly dystopian nightmare of corruption and manipulation, but one in which the female body is again one of the primary targets of control. Hear them discuss the present, the future, and their own visions of hope. 

 

Friday 23 March

 

Stellar Stars

Guests: Charlotte Wood, Alexis Wright, Fiona Wright 

Moderator:Eleanor Goodman

Friday 23 March, 12:00-14:00

Glam, No.5 The Bund (corner of Guangdong Lu)

180 RMB entry (lunch included) (tickets will go on sale Monday, February 26th at 15:00. There is NO ticket limit for this session); Bookings Essential

Language: En

Join Charlotte Wood, Alexis Wright, and Fiona Wright in an event that begins with Australia’s Stella Prize, the country’s most prestigious award for writing by Australian Women in any genre. Our three guests, possessed of very disparate literary voices, are all winners or nominees of the prize. In tonight’s event, they discuss the ways in which they have given voice to the voiceless: Alexis Wright, who in her numerous works of fiction and non-fiction has struggled to bring to the foreground the Aboriginal point of view; Fiona Wright, whose essays on eating disorders are both intensely personal, and conducive to public discussion of an oft-neglected issue; and Charlotte Wood, whose most recent novel The Natural Way of Things is an explosive parable about the creeping threats of corporatism and misogyny. The three authors discuss their individual projects, and the reception of their works within Australian society. 

 

Saturday 24 March

 

Alexis Wright: Story as Law

Moderator:Chen Hong

Saturday 24 March, 16:00-18:00

Glam, No.5 The Bund (corner of Guangdong Lu)

85 RMB / 40 RMB (for students) entry; Bookings Essential

Language: En

The Aboriginal people of Australia maintain the world’s most ancient storytelling tradition: tales which serve simultaneously as origin myths, collective memories, geographical schematics, and social strictures. Alexis Wright, renowned novelist and Australia’s foremost voice on Aboriginal history and rights, has recently taken a new position at the University of Melbourne to research and document these “story laws”. In this event she introduces the nature of the Aboriginal stories, and explains their seminal influence on her own work, including Carpentaria (2006), which tells the story of Desperance, a fictional town in northwest Queensland; The Swan Book (2013), a magical-realist fable of environmental and social collapse; and Tracker, a collective memoir of an influential Aboriginal leader, recently nominated for the Stella Prize.

 

Alexis Wright and A Lai: From Oral Tradition to Modern Narrative

Guests:Alexis Wright, A Lai

Moderator: Zou Zou

Saturday 24 March, 19:30-21:30

Zhongshuge Bookstore, 1st Floor, Greenland Binfen City, No 759 Hualongzhonglu, Xuhui, Shanghai

Free to attend, no need for registration

Language: En | Ch

 

Ulanqub 

 

Tuesday 20 March

 

Literature and Regional Culture 

Guests: Alexis Wright, Li Kuai, Wang Yushui, Geng Rui, Wang Sumin

Moderator: Yan Xiaoyun, Dean, School of Foreign Languages, Jining Normal University 

Tuesday 20 March, 15:20-17:00

Library lecture hall, Jining Normal University

Language: En | Ch

As an Indigenous Australian writer, Alexis Wright is known for her profound understanding of regional culture. And the two Inner-Mongolian writers Li Kuai and Wang Yushui, are best memorized for their works capturing the dramatic changes Mongolians have undergone throughout Chinese history. These renowned writers will offer their insights into the relation between Literature and Reginal Culture, which will be a heart-to-hear conversation between the Chinese and Australian Writers.

 

Suzhou 

 

Wednesday 21 March

 

Marks of Hunger, Marks of Loss

Guests: Fiona Wright, Zhu Wenying, Kaitlin Solimine 

Wednesday 21 March, 19:00-20:30

77 Gunxiufang, Shiquan Jie Suzhou (corner of Shi quan Jie and Ping Qiao Zhi Lu)
Language: En | Ch

Booking Essential

All hunger leaves its traces; no suffering is completely forgotten. Three authors discuss their approaches to memory and the marks left by the past: Fiona Wright is the author of “Small Acts of Disappearance”, a collection of essays on her experiences with anorexia; Zhu Wenying’s fiction ranges over the past century of Chinese history, recording the fine impressions left by great events on individual lives; Kaitlin Solimine’s novel “Empire of Glass” follows one family through the decades as they struggle to absorb and overcome the pressures of society and the times. The three authors discuss their work, and the indelible marks of the past, both individual and collective. 

 

Chengdu

 

Wednesday 21 March

 

Australian Literature in the Global Context of Multiculturalism

Guest: Richard Flanagan

Moderator: WANG Jinghui, PhD supervisor, Professor of Comparative Literature and World Literature, Deputy Director of Australian Studies Centre, Tsinghua University

Wednesday 21 March, 14:00 – 15:30

Sichuan Normal University

Richard Flanagan will address the audience on the theme “Australian Literature in the Global Context of Multiculturalism”, with reference to his own writing experiences and his understanding of Australian literature’s value and meaning for Chinese readers.

Invitation Only

 

Richard Flanagan: The Alchemy of Story

Moderator: Gavin Crombie

Wednesday 21 March, 19:30 – 21:00

Yujie East Road 2-7#, Ren min South Road 28#

Language: En

Over the course of seven novels, Richard Flanagan’s writing has ranged from stories of intense personal meaning to subjects of burning social and historical significance. In The Narrow Road to the Deep North the author combined these two elements into a potent organic whole that won the 2014 Man Booker Prize. His work continually fuses, in different configurations, story-telling in its many guises: Tasmanian history, personal recollection, deliberate myth-making and, in his formal experimentation and ever-changing voice, the story and history of the novel itself. Tonight he speaks on the nature of an author’s relationship to material, and the dissolution of the self within story. 

 

Thursday 22 March 

 

Australian Literature in the Global Context of Multiculturalism

Guest: Richard Flanagan

Moderator: WANG Jinghui, PhD supervisor, Professor of Comparative Literature and World Literature, Deputy Director of Australian Studies Centre, Tsinghua University

Thursday 22 March, 14:30 – 15:30

Sichuan University

Richard Flanagan will address the audience on the theme “Australian Literature in the Global Context of Multiculturalism”, with reference to his own writing experiences and his understanding of Australian literature’s value and meaning for Chinese readers.

Invitation Only

 

The Question of the Novel

Guest: Richard Flanagan, Yi Dan

Thursday 22 March, 19:30 – 21:30

Yanjiyou Bookstore, YJY Bookstore, IFS Chengdu LG2 NO.223 No.1, Section 3, Hongxinglu Pedestrian St.Jinjiang District

Language: En | Ch

 

Guangzhou

 

Monday 19 March

 

Salon: Writing for the Human Hearts

Monday 19 March, 19:30 - 20:30

Siyue Bookstore, No.154, Donghu Road, Guangzhou (Exit B2, Donghu Metro Station)

Free, bookings essential

Language: En | Ch

 

Tuesday 20 March

 

Charlotte Wood: Unnatural Law

Tuesday 20 March, 19:30-20:30

UN Space, 5/F, United Bookstore, No.314, Beijing Road, Guangzhou

Free, bookings essential

Language: En | Ch

“In his every moment with her, his every act, it was his own self he saw and coldly worshipped.” Charlotte Wood’s most recent novel, the Stella-prize-winning The Natural Way of Things, begins in the desert, with Yolanda awakening in unfamiliar circumstances. It’s soon clear that more is amiss than she could have guessed: Wood has created an eerily plausible alternate reality in which the subtle misogyny of everyday life flares up into a life-or-death ordeal for a group of select women. The novel explores the psychology of captor and captive, while it hints at dark possibilities for modern society.

 

Golden Wattle Reading Club

Wednesday 21 March, 14:30 – 16:30

Library, 5/F, Canton Club, Canton Plaza, No.1-48 Haiyue Road, Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou

Free, bookings essential

Language: En

 

Foshan

 

Wednesday 21 March

 

Charlotte Wood: Unnatural Law

Wednesday 21 March, 19:30 – 20:30

Xianxing Bookstore, No.27 Chuihong Road, Foshan

Free, bookings essential

Language: En | Ch

“In his every moment with her, his every act, it was his own self he saw and coldly worshipped.” Charlotte Wood’s most recent novel, the Stella-prize-winning The Natural Way of Things, begins in the desert, with Yolanda awakening in unfamiliar circumstances. It’s soon clear that more is amiss than she could have guessed: Wood has created an eerily plausible alternate reality in which the subtle misogyny of everyday life flares up into a life-or-death ordeal for a group of select women. The novel explores the psychology of captor and captive, while it hints at dark possibilities for modern society.

 

 

 

Media enquiries: Xiaojiao Li [email protected]; 86-10-5140-4395 or May-Lea Ling May-Lea.[email protected];  86-10-5140-4475.

 

Australian Writers Week in China (15 – 24 March 2018) is presented by the Australian Embassy in Beijing, Consulates-General in Chengdu, Guangzhou and Shanghai, and is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

Also supported  by the strong network of Australian Studies Centres in China, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Renmin University, Inner Mongolia University, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Suzhou University, Sichuan Normal University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai University of International Business and Economics and Sun Yat-sen University as well as Jining Normal University and Sichuan University. 

 

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