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Empathy on the Page

In an increasingly polarized world it seems empathy is a resource that is in ever scarcer supply. Readers struggle to know who or what to trust in this digital era with media outlets across the globe often accused of bias or “fake news”, and social media platforms commonly becoming hotbeds of vitriol. In this environment, the book publishing world and the fiction and non-fiction writers who have the talent to create texts at the more nuanced, empathetic end of the spectrum have an increasingly vital role to play. In this context, we invite this evening four very talented writers to discuss their writing and how they see it fitting in with the social and geopolitical realities we face. Deng Yiguang is a critically acclaimed and multi award-winning author of Mongolian ethnicity; Mathilde Walter Clark is an author and essayist who had a transatlantic upbringing with a Danish mother and an American father; Wojciech Jagielski is a Polish writer who has spent most of his career in some of the worst conflict zones on the planet; and Zhu Wenying is a widely translated author and curator originally from Shanghai. In conversation with literary academic and award-winning author Nan Xiang.