The EU-China International Literary Festival fifth edition theme ‘Recovery/Reflection’ will examine through the eyes of our writers how the world is responding to the global issues of the day and celebrates the role of literature and thoughtful debate across our societies.
EU-China-litfest 01: Writing Lives
David Wagner (Germany), Liu Zhenyun (China)
Thursday, November 12. 7.30pm Beijing Time
We proudly launch the 5th EU-China International Literary Festivals with two esteemed writers who have had extremely successful literary careers. Acclaimed German author David Wagner – winner of the Best Foreign Book Award in China for his novel Lives (published in China by People’s Literature Publishing House) – and leading Chinese author and screenwriter Liu Zhenyun, whose published work has been translated into 30 languages to date, will discuss some of their work, the craft of writing and their writing lives. Moderated by Dai Weina.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 666 9581 6848 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 02: A Sense of Home
Colm Tóibín (Ireland), Bi Feiyu (China)
Saturday, November 14. 12noon Beijing Time
Since time immemorial authors have grappled with fluctuating concepts of home – examining what it might truly mean and if and how it can forge the soul. Two contemporary authors who have fully illuminated on the page the character of home are our guests today: Colm Tóibín from Enniscorthy in Co Wexford in Ireland and Bi Feiyu from Xinghua in Jiangsu province in China. Three times shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Colm Tóibín’s books translated into Chinese (published by Archipel Press) include The Master, Brooklyn, and House of Names. He joins Mao Dun Prize-winner Bi Feiyu, whose novels have been translated around the world, to discuss some of their recent literary work and examine the ephemeral notion of home. Moderated by Shi Jianfeng.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 698 7530 6200 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 03: A Frame of Mind: Creating from a Child’s Perspective
Saturday, November 14. 5 pm Beijing Time
Seeing the world through the lens of a child is something that children’s authors and illustrators strive for so they can better empathise and connect with their young readers. For today’s discussion we are joined by two talented children’s authors who have won critical acclaim for their work. Anti Saar from Estonia started writing personal stories for his own three kids and later got that work published and started winning literary awards for his stories. Zhen Zhen first won awards for her poetry when she was still a teenager and in recent years has been focusing on the creation of illustrations for picture books, fairy tales and poetry.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 658 9062 6685 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 04: Horror, Thrillers and Crime – Beyond the Genre
Wojciech Chmielarz (Poland), Cai Jun (China)
Sunday, November 15. 5pm Beijing Time
Today we are joined by two best-selling authors to discuss their work, genres and subgenres, and how they approach new writing challenges and master the art of consistently delivering page-turning hits. Prolific Polish writer Wojciech Chmielarz built his literary credentials in the crime genre but has diverged at times into psychological thrillers, horror, noir, and more beyond, while legendary Chinese author Cai Jun has built a large and loyal fan base in China and abroad with his unique brand of horror and suspense.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 697 8474 1659 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 05: Childhood, Truth and Trauma – Delving into the Dark
Andrés Barba (Spain), btr (China)
Sunday, November 15. 7pm Beijing Time
Writers can dive into the darkness in their quest to establish social truths and assess the impacts traumatic events can have on society and on individuals as they try to make their way in life. Past masters at plumbing the depths in their novels and stories are renowned Spanish author Andrés Barba, whose award-winning books A Luminous Republic and Such Small Hands have been published in China by Imaginist; and China’s btr, an acclaimed writer and translator whose best-selling books include Bizarre Stories (Thinkingdom Media Group) and Petite Mort (Citic Press). Moderated by Dai Weina.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 691 3372 4252 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 06: Art, Images, Language – Potent Prose and Visualisation
Teresa Präauer (Austria), Sheng Keyi (China)
Tuesday, November 17. 7.30 pm Beijing Time
Austrian fiction writer and essayist Teresa Präauer was an established visual artist before she decided she wanted to use words to create most of her art, while Chinese novelist and short story writer Sheng Keyi is also an artist and an acclaimed painter. Teresa Präauer, whose Für den Herrscher aus Übersee (For the Emperor from Overseas) received the aspekte prize for best German-language prose debut of 2012, and Sheng Keyi, author of Death Fugue, Wild Fruit and Northern Girls, which was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, will discuss their recent work and how imagery projects itself on to their pages.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 668 3425 4112 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 07: Poetic Voices: Art that Unites Pleasure with Truth
Albert Marshall (Malta), Zheng Xiaoqiong (China)
Wednesday, November 18. 7.30 pm Beijing Time
Poetry is said to be the art that unites pleasure with truth; interior, rhythmical creations that can travel the globe casting questions, expressions and emotions. Joining the event today are Albert Marshall, a respected poet, playwright and director from Malta who has recently published a poetry collection called Six Chinese Lanterns, inspired by a stay in Guangxi province; and Zheng Xiaoqiong, a much-lauded and widely translated Chinese poet from Sichuan province. The writers will introduce some of their work and discuss the art and pleasure in poetry, and the role it plays in the 21st century.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 635 5177 5359 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 08: Echoes asking Shadows to Dance: Poets take the Floor
Carl Norac (Belgium), Huang Lihai (China)
Thursday, November 19. 7.30 pm Beijing Time
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance, according to the legendary poet Carl Sandburg. Today Carl Norac, the National Poet of Belgium whose poetry and children’s books have been translated into 47 languages around the world, and Huang Lihai, a multiple award-winning and widely translated poet from Guangdong, will examine the concept of poetry and literature in the 21st century, and discuss how poets can paint vivid pictures with words and generate those echoes that invite shadows to dance. Moderated by Jiao Jingshu. (This event will be in Chinese and French.)
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 631 3470 4686 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 09: The Power of Literature: Building Bridges Across the Globe
Ivana Sojat (Croatia), Zhu Wenying (China)
Friday, November 20. 7.30 pm Beijing Time
Literature is celebrated for its ability to capture imaginations, transport readers, instil empathy and cast light upon the dark. To discuss their own award-winning creative work, and the bridge-building capacity of great writing, we are joined today by prolific Croatian novelist, poet, essayist and literary translator Ivana Sojat, and Zhu Wenying, a Suzhou-based novelist and short story writer, and ardent promoter of cross-cultural literary exchanges.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 612 5455 1054 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 10: Noir, Suspense and Setting the Scene
Stina Jackson (Sweden), A Yi (China)
Saturday, November 21. 11 am Beijing Time
Carefully drawn landscapes and urban settings create vivid backdrops for tautly written prose, with the setting able to loom as a motif or an integral character in the hands of gifted writers. Nordic noir’s rising star Stina Jackson brings her readers through the sweeping, remote landscapes of the Swedish north in her runaway, slow-crime bestseller The Silver Road (published in China by Citic Press), while critically acclaimed and widely translated Chinese author A Yi often uses contemporary Chinese cityscapes in his crafted storytelling. Join Stina Jackson and A Yi as they discuss their writing lives, their recent work and the role setting has in the architecture of their prose.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 616 5729 8858 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 11: Poetry: A Painting that is Felt Rather than Seen
Katerina Rudcenkova (Czech Republic), Yu Yoyo (China)
Saturday, November 21. 5pm Beijing Time
Leonardo Da Vince said that, “A painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is a painting that is felt rather than seen.” Two esteemed female poets join us today to discuss their own work and what they perceive to be the visual and visceral capacities of poetry in the contemporary age. Acclaimed Czech writer Kateřina Rudčenková has published poetry, short stories and plays and had her work published into 20 languages. Yu Yoyo, from Sichuan in China, is seen as a representative voice among the post-90’s generation and her award-winning writing has been translated into English, Russian, Swedish, Japanese, French.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 626 0312 8256 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 12: Identity, Memory and History on the Page
Gábor T. Szántó (Hungary), Deng Yiguang (China)
Sunday, November 22. 5 pm Beijing Time
Writers often explore convoluted questions of identity, tap into vaults of memory, and assess history from multiple vantage points as they refine research and develop fictional worlds. To discuss how they construct their own fictional realms, we are joined today by Gábor T. Szántó from Hungary and Deng Yiguang from China. Gábor T. Szántó is a novelist, essayist, screenplay writer and editor-in-chief of the Hungarian Jewish monthly Szombat. One of his short stories (1945, Homecoming) has been developed into a feature film entitled 1945 which won 20 awards across the world and has been distributed in 40 countries (available in China on Beijing eFida). Deng Yiguang, of Mongolian ethnicity, has published 10 novels. He has been widely translated and won the first Lu Xun Literature Award, among others.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 675 4030 5995 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 13: Time Past and Present: Ripples and Reflections
Drago Jančar (Slovenia), Yi Zhou (China)
Sunday, November 22. 7 pm Beijing Time
When writers look into historical ponds they draw their own lessons and develop their individual perspectives, which can then be channelled into their creative work. For today’s literary discussion we are joined by legendary Slovenian writer Drago Jančar, one of Europe’s most acclaimed authors, and Yi Zhou, a short story writer and novelist who has garnered multiple awards and accolades for his writing. Drago Jančar and Yi Zhou will discuss their writing and some of the historical and individual influences that have shaped their own creativity.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 683 1403 8239 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 14: Literary Nomads: Language, Experience and Inspiration
Jean Portante (Luxembourg), Lu Min (China)
Tuesday, November 24. 7.30pm Beijing Time
Jean Portante was born in Luxembourg. He is of Italian origin and he lives in Paris. He has travelled widely and written more than forty books, novels, stories, plays, essays, translations and poetry, and has been translated into more than 20 different languages. Lu Min was born in Jiangsu province and as a young woman she worked several jobs in different places – including post office clerk, a secretary, a journalist, and a civil servant – before settling on a career as a writer. She has won many top awards for her short stories, novellas and novels, including the Lu Xun Literary Award, and has been widely translated internationally (and her novel Undeliverable Feelings has recently been signed to Simon and Schuster). Join these two leading writers as they discuss their writing, their career trajectories and how different places and experiences have enriched them as observers and documenters of the world around them. Moderated by Jiao Jingshu. (This event will be in Chinese and French.)
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 643 6268 0471 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 15: A Novel Approach: Experimenting with Language, Form and Style
Marco Missiroli (Italy), Zheng Xiaolv (China)
Thursday, November 26. 7.30 pm Beijing Time
We invite two critically acclaimed writers to this event to discuss their own novels and how they experiment with language, form and style to create unique and gripping narrative worlds for readers to explore. We will be joined by Marco Missiroli, a best-selling Italian author whose work has been translated into more than 30 countries around the globe. His acclaimed novel Fidelity, currently being made into a Netflix limited series, will be published in China next spring by Archipel Press. Zheng Xiaolv, who hails from Hunan province, has won many high-profile awards for his works, which include the novels Go to Dong Ting and The Disappearing Daughter. His writing has appeared in translation across Europe and Asia. Moderated by Riccardo Moratto. (This event will be in Italian and Chinese.)
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 648 4035 1201 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 16: Good Versus Evil: Challenging Stereotypes and Challenging Children
Evgene Trivizas (Greece), Cao Wenxuan (China)
Friday, November 27. 7.30 pm Beijing Time
To encourage children to fully engage with literature writers are aware they have to be constantly striving to challenge young readers, deliver the unexpected, hit on themes that truly resonate, and avoid clichés and stereotypes. To discuss their own approaches to these challenges we are joined today by two highly respected authors, Evgene Trivizas from Greece and Cao Wenxuan from China. Evgene Trivizas, who is also a renowned criminologist, is the author of more than 200 books for children, including the international best-seller The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig in which the wolves are the good guys. Cao Wenxuan is the first Chinese author to win the prestigious Hans Christian Anderson Award for children’s writing and his best-selling books have been hugely popular with children in China and internationally for many years. Evgene Trivizas and Cao Wenxuan will discuss some of their work, their own literary approaches, and how they continually engage and challenge children with their writing.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 646 9406 0879 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 17: Artists, Writers, Picture Books – Creating a Space where Adults and Children Engage
Isabel Minhós Martins (Portugal), Xiong Liang (China)
Saturday, November 28. 5 pm Beijing Time
Magical, spell-binding worlds are created in picture books, where art and words collude. The resulting creations can serve as a bridge between young readers and adults, establishing a new space where both can share their differing perspectives on the messages they absorb. To discuss their own work and the intriguing world of creating content that children will relish, we are joined by two leading lights from the genre – Isabel Minhós Martins from Portugal and Xiong Liang from Zhejiang province in China. Isabel Minhós Martins is the author of multiple award-winning picture books and non-fiction titles for children, several of which are available in Chinese translation, and she is also co-founder of publishing house Planeta Tangerina, which was distinguished as Best European Publisher for Children at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Xiong Liang is a painter, author, illustrator and a pioneering picture books author. His books have been translated into numerous languages and he has garnered multiple awards, including a nomination for the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 663 2723 9940 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 18: Literary Fiction – A Prism to Assess the World
Christophe Ono-Dit-Biot (France), Zhang Yueran (China)
Saturday, November 28. 7 pm Beijing Time
Just like ancient myths, there are home truths to be found in the texts and the subtexts of literary fiction; ideas that help illuminate our existence, link the present with the past, and offer up boundless possibilities for the future. To discuss their own work and the refracted perceptions good writing can present, we are joined by two stars of literature today: Christophe Ono-Dit-Biot from Le Harve in France and Zhang Yueran from Jinan in Shandong. Christophe Ono-Dit-Biot is a prominent French journalist and author and his books have been translated into more than a dozen countries around the world, including the novel Plonger which is published in Chinese by People’s Literature Publishing House. Zhang Yueran has been winning awards for her short stories and novels since her high school days, and is now considered to be one of China’s most influential young writers. Moderated by Jiao Jingshu. (This event will be in Chinese and French.)
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 636 6532 1370 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 19: A Tale of Two Cities and Two Genres
Laimonas Briedis (Lithuania), Zhou Kai (China)
Sunday, November 29. 12 noon Beijing Time
Today we are joined by two acclaimed writers who both put a city under the microscope in recent books they researched and wrote, with Laimonas Briedis producing the best-selling, non-fiction Vilnius: City of Strangers (published in Chinese by Beijing: New Star Press), while Zhou Kai released his extremely successful historical fiction title Moss, which brings us back to the city of Leshan during the Qing Dynasty. Laimonas Briedis is a Lithuanian writer and scholar of history, literature and the geographical imagination of Lithuania. Vilnius: City of Strangers surveys the history of European culture through the changing cultural and linguistic landscape of the Lithuanian capital. Zhou Kai, from Leshan in Sichuan, published his deeply researched historical novel Moss in 2019, a book that centres around the Qing Dynasty city of Jiading, modern day Leshan. Laimonas Briedis and Zhou Kai will discuss their recent work, their research and writing processes, and how they brought these two cities to life on the page.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 623 7704 9536 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 20: Existential Struggles: Writers on Capturing Life’s Essence
Dorthe Nors (Denmark), Lu Nei (China)
Sunday, November 29. 5 pm Beijing Time
A fundamental crossroads in a protagonist’s life, adversarial scenarios, uncertain futures, existential crises; such pivotal moments can play a compelling part in literary fiction and with elevated stakes in play help crystallise issues. For today’s event we are joined by two exceptional authors who will discuss their award-winning work and how they capture the critical moods and moments in their writing. Dorthe Nors from Denmark is an acclaimed short story writer and novelist from Denmark, and was a Man Booker International finalist in 2017. Her novel Mirror, Shoulder, Signal and story collection Karate Chop have been published in China by FLTRP. Lu Nei is a celebrated novelist, originally from Suzhou in Jiangsu province, and has received numerous awards for his writing, including the annual Novelist of the Chinese Language Media Award.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 612 3904 5492 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 21:Taking Shape: Immersing in the Creative Process
Stavros Christodoulou (Cyprus), Xia Shang (China)
Tuesday, December 1. 8.30 pm Beijing Time
How do writers develop their stories and characters into full-blown, multilayered and complex stories? How do they approach the process? What literary and structural choices and sacrifices do they make along the way? How do they find the right voice for their protagonist? In this discussion we welcome Stavros Christodoulou from Cyprus and Xia Shang from China to discuss their working processes and how their creative works ultimately take shape. Stavros Christodoulou is a journalist and author from Nicosia. His book The Day the River Froze won the European Union Prize for Literature. Xia Shang, is a novelist and a representative writer of post-avant-garde literature in China. Aside from his individual publications, four volumes of Xia Shang Selected Works and a nine-volume Xia Shang Fiction Series have also been published.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 671 2999 8762 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 22: Embracing the Literary Muse
Osvalds Zebris (Latvia), Wang Suxin (China)
Thursday, December 3. 7.30 pm Beijing Time
How do writers find and nurse their muse? Where and how can authors extract inspiration from historic events or the daily world around them? What moves them as writers – physically, emotionally, psychologically? For this event we invite two award-winning authors to discuss their creative processes. Osvalds Zebris is a Latvian journalist and author of novels and short stories. His novel In the Shadow of Rooster Hill won the European Union Prize for Literature and is being translated into eight languages. Wang Suxin has published several story collections and has won numerous awards, including the West Lake New Star Award and the Zi Jin People’s Literature Short Stories Award.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 695 2874 1666 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 23: Local Stories, Global Writers
Jozef Banáš (Slovakia), Chen Xiwo (China)
Friday, December 4. 7.30 pm Beijing Time
Widely translated writers from Slovakia and China will take the stage today to discuss how they present global themes in their writing that are informed by local events and people, and how the narratives can remain relevant even as they transcend borders, cultures and languages. Joining the discussion with be Jozef Banáš from Slovakia, whose books have been translated into many languages, including his book on Alexandra Dubcek and the 1968 Prague Spring, Stop Dubcek! The Story of a Man who Defied Power. Chen Xiwo has written academically on comparative literature and his novels and stories have been translated into English, French, Italian, Spanish and Japanese, among other languages. His novel Exile won the prestigious HuangChangXian Literature Prize. Jozef Banáš and Chen Xiwo will discuss some of their own recent work and how they write successfully for global audiences.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 650 1241 9663 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 24: Travel, Memoir, Inspirational Lives – The road to Narrative Non-Fiction
Mia Kankimäki (Finland) and Zhang Li (China)
Saturday, December 5. 5 pm Beijing Time
Today we are joined by two leading writers who have taken to the road in search of stories, inspirational female characters and experiences to fuel their narrative non-fiction writing. Mia Kankimäki is the author of two best-selling books which blend travelogue, memoir, biography and women’s history. Her latest book, The Women I Think About At Night was inspired by her travels in the footsteps of inspirational, historical female figures in Africa, Europe and Asia. Award-winning writer and literary academic Zhang Li has written several very successful books, including The Occurrence of Modern Chinese Women's Writing, Sisters, The Story of a Traveller, and in 2019 she published research on 127 contemporary Chinese authors under the theme “Gender and our Time”. Mia Kankimäki and Zhang Li will discuss what excites them as researchers and writers, the lure of the open road, and how they develop compelling narrative non-fiction.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 640 0785 1952 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 25: Diverse Genres, Translations and Cultivating Literary Scenes
Horia Garbea (Romania), Stanley Chen (China)
Saturday, December 5. 7 pm Beijing Time
Today we are joined by two leading talents who are both playing a role in their respective countries to develop their literary scenes; first and foremost, through their own award-winning writing but then also via the art of translation – introducing exciting international voices in different genres to readers in their languages – and by curating projects and building networks and support mechanisms for the writers in their community. Acclaimed Romanian author Horia Garbea has written poetry, short stories, novels, criticism and stage plays. He has also translated numerous stage plays and has had a long-term involvement in this country’s writers union. Chen Qiufan (A.K.A. Stanley Chan) is an internationally renowned author of speculative fiction, a translator and curator, and has been a very influential figure in contemporary Chinese speculative and science fiction genres. Horia Garbea and Stanley Chan will discuss their own recent writing, the role translation has played on their respective literary scenes, and the development of communities of writers in their countries.
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 677 7140 6519 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 26: The Writer’s Life
Dimitar Hristov (Bulgaria), Wen Zhen (China)
Sunday, December 6. 5 pm Beijing Time
What consumes a writer’s time, energy and passion from the moment they rise till the time it comes to return to bed? How do they divide their time and decide when to write, when to travel, when to research, when to pursue other interests like translating, editing, teaching? Where do they find time for family and friends, and where do they find fallow time after their creative outbursts? In this gathering we invite two prolific writers to discuss their writing lives, Dimitar Hristov from Bulgaria and Wen Zhen from China. Dimitar Hristov is a poet, playwright and literary translator who has won a number of national and international literary awards. He is also very active in the Union of Bulgarian Writers. Wen Zhen is an acclaimed writer of fiction, essays, and poetry, and she has won many awards for her work, including the Lao She Literature Prize. (This event will be in Bulgarian and Chinese.)
How to Join the Online Event:Zoom Webinar ID: 675 9754 2924 (click to register) or scan the WeChat QR code
EU-China-litfest 27: Complex Relations: People and Peoples, Past and Present
Daan Heerma van Voss (The Netherlands), Liang Hong (China)
Sunday, December 6. 7 pm Beijing Time
Convoluted relationships between people, as individuals and groups, and between contemporary times and times long past, are fundamental elements of our world. Authors of fiction and non-fiction alike dwell upon these relationships and, directly or obliquely, contemplate their ramifications in their writing. Today we are joined by two esteemed writers of both fiction and non-fiction who have won a host of awards for their insightful work. Daan Heerma van Voss is a novelist and historian from the Netherlands who has often been hailed as one of the front runners of his generation in Europe. His book The Last War was published in China by Flower City Press. Liang Hong, originally from Henan province, is a scholar, writer and professor at Renmin University of China. She has written non-fiction books on literature and life in rural China, as well as two novels, most recently The Four Forms (2020). Daan Heerma van Voss and Liang Hong will discuss their own writing and research processes and how they absorb complex relations and events into their narratives.