Cultural Exchange in Literary Circles: Dialogue between Chinese and European Writers of Contemporary Literature
Events: Embracing the Literary Muse
Zhou Kai, born in 1990, released his first novel Yin-Yang People: A Tale in Two Parts in the 9th issue of Chutzpah magazine’s "charm of dialect"-themed section in 2012. The novels Yin-yang People: A tale in Two Parts and Hopelessly Blind have been translated into English by Bonnie Huie and Eleanor Goodman, respectively. He won the Fifth New Era Global Chinese Youth Literature Award (Hong Kong) in 2013, and he participated in the inaugural "Shanghai Project| Shanghai Seed" exhibition. He is a contracted writer of the Ba Jin College.
Events: Embracing the Literary Muse
Zhang Ni, born in the 1970s in Qu county, Sichuan, studied in the senior research class of the Lu Xun College of Arts, and is a contracted writer with the Ba Jin College of Arts and a member of the China Writers’ Association. She has published several novellas in journals such as October, Zhong Mountain, The Mountain Flower and The Literary Newspaper. Her works have been selected in the Chinese Short Stories in 2012 collection, and in “The short stories of the Youth writers in Sichuan province”, etc. Her novellas Barren Mountain Chrysanthemum and Dust to Dust, Earth to Earth won the 8th Sichuan Literature Awards. In recent years, she has participated in international literary exchange activities held in China and across Asia. Some of her works have been translated into Korean.
Events: Embracing the Literary Muse, Baring Society’s Shadow and Soul: Literary Ways and Means, Readers Beyond Borders, Why We Write
Dimitrios Stefanakis (born 1961) is a Greek novelist who was born on the island of Kea and studied law at Athens University. He has written several novels including Film Noir, You’ll be Fighting the Gods, Aria, The World from the Beginning and Days of Alexandria. The latter won the Prix Mediterranee in 2011 and has been translated into both French and Spanish. He is currently a judge for the same prize. Dimitrios has also translated the works of several English-language authors into Greek, including Saul Bellow, John Updike, Margaret Atwood, and E.M. Forster. He was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French government for his literary work.
Events: Embracing the Literary Muse, Delving Deep, Readers Beyond Borders, Break the Mold: Diversity of Form in Writing
Zuzana Kepplová graduated from the Academy of Arts and Music in Bratislava, and obtained her Ph.D. from the Central European University in Budapest. Currently she works as editor of the opinion section in the daily paper SME and writes commentaries. She is the author of three books of prose - Buchty švabachom (Buns in Gothic Scripture, 2011), 57 km od Taškentu (57 km far from Tashkent, 2013) and Reflux (2015). Her short stories and excerpts have been published in collections of Slovak prose and translated into Dutch, German, Slovenian and Hindi. Her first two books were published in one volume in Hungarian; the Polish translation of the latest book is on the way.
Events: Embracing the Literary Muse, Delving Deep, Striking the Right Chord: Finding the Narrative Voice, Why We Write
Richard Obermayr, born 1970, is an Austrian novelist who grew up in Upper Austria and has lived in Vienna since 1988. He was a nominee for the European Prize for Literature in 2015. He has published two novels, e Counterfeit Sky in 1998 and e Window in 2010. He has received numerous scholarships, most notably the Robert Musil Stipendium, and his awards include most recently the Ehrengabe der Deutschen Schillerstiftung. His work was featured in the inaugural special exhibition at the Literature Museum in Vienna. He has translated Random Family by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc from English into German.
Zhang Yueran was born in 1982 in the city of Jinan, Shandong Province. She began writing at the age of 14, and as a high school student won first prize in the nationwide New Concept Composition Competition. After studying English and law at Shandong University, she completed a graduate degree in computer science at Singapore University. She is regarded as one of China's most influential young writers. She has published two short story collections: Sunflower Missing In 1890 (2003) and Ten Loves (2004), and four novels: Distant Cherry (2004), Narcissus (2005), The Promise Bird (2006), which was named the Best Saga Novel 2006, and Cocoon (2016). Her other awards include the Chinese Press Most Promising New Talent Award (2005), the Spring Literature Prize (2006). and the "Mao Tai Cup" People's Literature Prize (2008). In 2012, she was named by Unitas magazine as one of the top 20 writers under 40. She has been the chief editor of Newriting since 2008 and holds a PhD in Ancient Chinese Literature from Renmin University.
Events: Baring Society’s Shadow and Soul: Literary Ways and Means, Striking the Right Chord: Finding the Narrative Voice, Break the Mold: Diversity of Form in Writing, Constructing and Deconstructing Fiction
Isabelle Wéry is a Belgian author, actress, theatre director and singer born in Liège. In 2013 her novel Marilyn désossée (Marilyn Deboned) won the European Union Prize for Literature and has been translated into numerous languages around the world. She is also the author of many short stories and the novels Monsieur René and Saisons culottes amis (Yvette’s Poems). She has had a diverse acting career, among many other things playing main roles in plays by Shakespeare, Brecht and Moliere, and she has acted in the Vagina Monologues by Eva Ensler and played the role of Hitler’s wife Eva Braun. In addition to her book writing and acting, Isabelle sings with various ensembles, and writes for the stage and creates her own theatre works. Three times nominated for the Prix de la Critique de Théâtre Belge (for the Seul en Scène category), she received the prize in 2008 for her original theatre piece La tranche de Jean-Daniel Magnin.
Events: Poetic Voices: Art that Unites Pleasure with Truth, Assessing the World Through a Prism of Light, Break the Mold: Diversity of Form in Writing, Echoes asking Shadows to Dance
Guy Helminger (born 1963) is a Luxembourg author who has written a number of successful novels and plays in German. He studied German literature and philosophy in Luxembourg, Heidelberg and Cologne, where he has lived since 1985. His literary work includes poetry, drama and novels. His award-winning play Morgen ist Regen, translated into English as Venezuela, was performed at London's Arcola Theatre. In 2002, Guy was awarded the Luxembourg Servais Prize for Rost, a collection of short stories.
Born in Tianjin in 1951, Yi Lei is one of China’s best-known contemporary poets. She is a graduate of Peking University and of the Lu Xun School of Literature. She has published eight collections of poetry, and her work has been translated into English, Russian, and other languages. Her most famous poem, the seventeen-part sequence poem A Single Woman’s Bedroom, received significant critical acclaim when it was published in the late 80s. She spent nearly a decade in Russian working as an art dealer and in recent years is engaged mostly in painting and travel. US poet Laureate and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for 2011 is currently translating some of her work into English.
Events: Poetic Voices: Art that Unites Pleasure with Truth, The Writer’s Life, Disseminating the Magic: Literary Media in the Digital Age, Echoes asking Shadows to Dance
Marius Burokas, born in 1977, is a poet, freelance writer, translator and editor-in-chief of an online magazine of Lithuanian literature the Vilnius Review. He is the author of three books of poetry, the most recent of which I‘ve Learned Not To Be was published in 2011. His poetry has been translated into Polish, Russian, Slovenian, English, German, French, Ukrainian and other languages. Marius has translated poetry of many international poets including Charles Simic, Walter S. Merwin, William Carlos Williams, Charles Bukowski, Ted Hughes and Alan Ginsberg.
Liu Li Duo
Liu Liduo, born in 1979, has a PhD from Peking University. She has published a collection of academic essays called Rememberance, a story collection called Affectionate History, and her stories have been widely published in literary journals and anthologies. She currently works in Beijing for the Phoenix media group.
Events: Delving Deep, Readers Beyond Borders
The works of author and Shanghai native Zhu Wenying - including Aunt Lily's Small Nambang, Madam Dai and Blue, and High Heels - have been published in numerous journals and anthologies. Some of her stories have been translated as well into English, French, Japanese, Russian, German, and Korean. Her short story, Ephemeral Life, was published in the 2005 Blood Ties: Writing Across Chinese Borders issue of MANOA, the literary journal of the University of Hawaii Press. In 2014, Zhu Wenying received the Annual People's Literature Prize. Her peers have expressed appreciation for her work's “renewal of a refined sensibility characteristic of Southern China”. She currently serves as Vice Chairperson of the Suzhou Writers Association and also works as an art curator and critic.
Events: Delving Deep
Chen Qiufan (A.K.A. Stanley Chan) is a representative member of China's new generation of speculative fiction authors. He is known for his stylistic combination of realism and New Wave, and has been called “China's William Gibson”. His works have been translated into many languages and received multiple domestic and international awards including 9 Chinese Nebula Awards (China counterpart of Hugo Award), 3 Galaxy Awards and World F&SF Translation Award. His representative works include “The Waste Tide”, “Censored”, and “Future Disease”. He previously worked for Google, Baidu, and other corporations for nearly ten years; at present, as Vice President of Noitom Ltd., he focuses on the fields of motion capture and virtual reality. He is also a member of WSFA (Science Fiction Writer Association) and Vice President of CSFA (Chinese Science Fiction Writer Association), and have a seat in Xprize Foundation SFAC (Science Fiction Advisory Council) as the only Chinese participant.
Born 1973 in Dongtai, Jiangsu Province. She started working at eighteen, and has been a post office clerk, a secretary, and has worked in planning, as a journalist, and as a civil servant. She currently lives in Nanjing. Lu Min started writing at the age of twenty-five and has published novels such as Multiple Love Letters, The Steering Wheel, Undeliverable Feelings, and Dinner for Six. Her short story collections and novellas include Accompany the Feast, The Song of Parting, The Viewfinder, Stirring up the Dust, and Page-Drunk. She has been awarded the Zhuang Zhongwen Literary Award, the People's Literary Award, the Chinese Writers' Award, the Monthly Fiction Reader Award, the Selected Fiction Award, and was honored with the Lu Xun Literary Award in 2010. She was selected as one of the "Top 20 Future Masters" by The People's Literature. Her novel Undeliverable Feelings has been signed to Simon and Schuster Inc. Many of her short stories have been translated into German, French, Japanese, Russian, English, Spanish, Italian, Arabic, and Korean. She now lives in Nanjing.
Liang Hong, born in 1973 near Zhengzhou, Henan, in Liang Village, is a scholar, writer and Professor at Renmin University of China. In addition to her book-length interview with Yan Lianke, The Witch's Red Chopsticks （2002）and two works of literary criticism, Notes from the Outlying Provinces: 20th Century Literature in Henan （2008） and Diminishing Halo: The Evolution of Narrative in Contemporary Chinese Literature （2009）, Liang Hong has also published two books of non-fiction about her hometown: China in Liang Village （2010） and Leaving Liang Village (2013). She has recently published the novel Liang Guangzheng’s Light. Her many awards include the “Eleventh Mandarin Chinese Media Award - annual essayist”, the “2010 People's Literature Award”, the seventh “Manjin Book Award” and the “2013 China Good Book” award.
Song Aman, a novelist, poet and translator, was born in 1991. She graduated from the Northwestern University with a Master of Arts. Her works have been published in magazines such as West, Hibiscus, Youth, Changjiang Literary and Art Fiction, and ONE.
Events: Taking Shape: Immersing in the Creative Process, Assessing the World Through a Prism of Light, Why We Write, Constructing and Deconstructing Fiction
Jasna Horvat is an award-winning author, theorist of culture and a professor of economics. Born in 1966, she started writing children’s books in the late nineties and later moved on to novels. She is the author of numerous books including Vilijun, Atanor and AZ, and her literary work often celebrates Croatian heritage through the stories of its mythology, folk tales and history. In 2011, she was awarded the Josip Juraj Strossmayer Award from the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences. Jasna is active as a writer, cultural theorist and scientist/researcher, and in her writing she questions literature with narrative experiments characterized by creative play and creation at all discourse levels.
Events: Taking Shape: Immersing in the Creative Process, The Writer’s Life, Disseminating the Magic: Literary Media in the Digital Age, Constructing and Deconstructing Fiction
Paolo Colagrande (born in Piacenza, Italy, 1960) is the author of several novels, including Fideg, for which he won the Premio Campiello Opera Prima 2007 award, was a finalist at the Premio Viareggio 2007 and has been in the top ten Italian novels at the Festival du Roman of Cuneo-Chambery (2007); Kammerspiel (2008); Dioblù (2010); Senti le rane (2015), for which he won Premio Selezione Campiello 2015 award, and was a finalist at the Premio Sila. He is the author of numerous stories published in anthologies, magazines and Italian national newspapers. He is one of the founders and editors of the literary magazine L’Accalappiacani (2006-2009).
A Yi (real name Ai Guozhu) is a Chinese author born in 1976 in Ruichang in Jiangxi province. After spending five years as a police officer, he quit to become the editor-in-chief of the bi-monthly literary magazine Chutzpah, and later became an editor of the "Iron Gourd" literary-fiction imprint. He has written two collections of short stories, Grey Stories and The Bird Saw Me, and he was nominated for the People’s Literature Short Stories prestigious award for Top Twenty Literary Giants of the Future in 2010. A Perfect Crime was published in China in 2011, and in English translation in 2015. It is described as “a thrilling and stylish novel about a motiveless murder that echoes Kafka’s absurdism, Camus’ nihilism and Dostoyevsky’s depravity.”
Born in 1982, Wen Zhen writes fiction, essays, and poetry. She studied for a master’s degree at the Chinese department of Peking University and has published short stories in literary journals including People’s Literature and Dangdai. Wen Zhen has published two fiction collections, Eleven Flavours of Love (which includes the novella for which she received a Lao She Literature Prize in 2014) and The Last Night We Were Together, and currently works as an editor at People’s Literature Publishing House. A selection of her poetry was published in the Summer 2016 issue of Pathlight.
Sheng Keyi is a contemporary Chinese novelist, born in a remote village in Yiyang, Hunan. She migrated to Shenzhen in the early 1990s and is currently living in Beijing. Her works include Northern Girls, Death Fugue, Barbaric Growth, and several short story collections. Her works have been translated into English, Italian , German, Spanish, French, Russian, Japanese, Korean, and other languages. Sheng was the winner of the Chinese People’s Literature Prize, the Yu Dafu Prize for Fiction, the Chinese Literature Media Award, the Top 20 Novelists of the Future Prize. Northern Girls, published by Penguin Books in 2012, was long listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Her works depict the real lives of China’s poor, the survival of its women, and situations revolving around the human spirit, written in language that is violent, enthusiastic, and experimental. Her work is known for its keen observations and callous writing style.
Events: The Writer’s Life
Shuang Xuetao, born in 1983, is a novelist from Shenyang. He was ther first winner of the Taipei Literary Award from the Chinese Mainland, the World Film Novel Award, the Chinese Literature Media Award, and the fifth West Lake Cutting-Edge Literary Prize Winner. His published works include Wing Ghost, Days of my Mind, Deaf and Dumb Age, and many of his books have been adapted for film.
Events: Why We Write
Jiang Lin, born in 1978, Nanchong, Sichuan, is currently living in Chengdu. As a member of Sichuan Provincial Writers’ Association, and a contracted writer of Ba Jin Academy of Arts, he has published many works, including Story or Reality, Nest, Despair Collection Room, In the Time to Embark on the Journey, Hidden Face, Utopia, and many others. His novels include Drinking One Entire River and Ba Min Zhou Jinpeng, which reflects the period of reconstruction following "5·12" Wenchuan earthquake disaster and won Sichuan Province’s "Five One Projects" Special Award. His biography Ju Mei Duo Ji and His Tibetan Dream won the Sichuan Provincial 13th "Five One Projects" Outstanding Book Award. The novel Watch the Wheatland was nominated in the First HaoRan Literature Award.
Events: Why We Write
Yuan Yuan, whose ancestral home is in Mianyang , Sichuan, was born in Beijing, grew up in Guizhou, graduated from the Chinese department of Sichuan University, and now lives in Chengdu. She worked in the media for more than 20 years and is a contracted writer of BaJin College and Chengdu College of Arts. Her many short stories have been published in the People's Literature, October, The Harvest, Youth Literature, The Chinese Writer, The Mountain Flower, Everyone, The West Lake and other magazines and reprinted by many select literarary magazines and collected in several annual anthologies. Her published novelettes include Separated by a Wall, Bachelor Dong’s Progress, and Coincidence. Her novel Pro-revenge won the 2001 Chengdu Annual Best Novel Award and the Sixth Sichuan Literature Award.
Wang Guoping, born in 1976, is a renowned contemporary biographer and a representive poet of the 70s era who hails from Jiangyou, Sichuan province. He has published non-fiction works, Us Now-‘5·12’ Great Earthquake Survivors’ Dedication and poetry, Elegy and Ode, Piano Song and over a dozen others, of which Nan Huaijin's Last 100 Days was a national best seller on Dangdang.com for 5 consecutive weeks. His works have won the Sichuan Province "Five One Projects" Award, Sichuan Literature Award, Sichuan Province People's Government Social and Science Award, Golden Lotus Literature Award, amongst others. Currently living in Dujiangyan, Sichuan, he is a member of the Chinese Writers Association and the Chinese Poetry Society, a committee member of the Sichuan Provincial Writers Association Committee and the Provincial Writers Report (non-fiction), as well as the Deputy Secretary-General of the Chengdu City Writers Association, deputy editor of Furong Jinjiang, executive editor of Dujiangyan Literature and head of Kuiguang
Lu Yiping, novelist, born in 1972, hails from Nanjiang, Sichuan. He studied at the PLA Academy of Arts Literature Department, then joined Shanghai’s first postgraduate writers’ programme and is a member of the Chinese Writers Association. Following more than 20 years of military life, he was promoted to the position of vice-director of the Chengdu Military District Literary and Artistic Studio and retired in 2016. He is a contracted writer of Ba Jin College and Chengdu College of Arts. He began writing novels in 1992. His novels are mainly set the northwest frontier area of China and are known for revealing life truths through pioneering writing techniques, as well as expressing the absurdity of life and exploring the loneliness of being human. He has published nearly 20 works including story collections, novels, essays and long documentary literature. His works have won the PLA Literary Award, the Chinese Reportage Awards, the Shanghai Literature Award, the Kunlun Literary Award, the Tianshan Literary award, among others.
Luo Weizhang, born in 1967, was a teacher, editor, journalist, freelance writer, professional author, and now works in a literary magazine. His published works include novels Hunger for Hundred Years, Don’t be surprised, The Dance of the River, Sharpen the Point, Pinch the Point, Under the Sun, Blank Page and The History of Sound. He has also written the novella collections Our Growth and Spy, the short story collection of The pain between white cloud and green grass, and the prose essays Time to Uncover, and Roadside Book. He has won the People's Literature Award, the Novel Monthly Hundred Award, the National Readers Favorite Novel Award, Pu Songling Literature Award, Chinese Best Prose Award, and his novels have been selected many times for the national novel ranking and the Chinese Literature Yearbook, the Global Chinese Novel Giant Series, and the National Fine Books Publishing Project. He is also honored as one of the National Literary and Artistic Masters and “Four of a Group” talents.
Yu Youyou, born in Sichuan in 1990, resides in Cheungdu. Youyou has been writing poems since the year 2004 and she has published the collections Seven Years (2012) and I’m Bait (2016). Her work has been translated into several languages including English, Russian and Swedish. In 2009, she won the “Annual Avant-garde Poetry Award”, awarded by Selective Poem Periodical. In 2010, she was ranked number one among the “Top Ten Avant-garde Poets” of those born in the 1990s. Youyou won the “Annual Poet Award” by Star Poetry in 2012 and the “Top Ten Young Poets of Sichuan” in 2013. Seven Years was selected by the Yangcheng Evening News in the “Annual Collection of Poems in Chinese Literature – List of 2012”. Her work is often featured at home and abroad in publications such as, Poetry Periodical, Star Poetry, The Moment, Chutzpah, Chinese Poetry and Selective Poem Periodical. She is the founder of the Poetry Website for Chinese College Students.
Events: Echoes asking Shadows to Dance
Zhai Yongming was born in Chengdu, Sichuan, in 1955. She graduated from Chengdu Telecommunications Engineering College (now known as the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China) in 1980. After resigning from a position in a physics research organization, she lived abroad for some years. She began to publish poetry in 1981, and in 1984 her poetry collection Women rocked the literary world with its unique and distinctive language. In 1998, she opened the White Nights bar and cultural space in Chendu where she has coordinated many literary and cultural activities over the years. She has published 10 collections of poetry including Women, On All Roses and New York, New York, to the West. In 2005, she was included in the list of “China’s Charming 50”; in 2007, she won the China Kun International Poetry Award; and in 2010, she was selected among China’s Top 10 Female Poets. In 2011, the chairman of the Italian Ceppo Pistoia International Award described Zhai Yongming as “one of today’s greatest international poets”.