UK’s first Chinese writing festival comes to London Chinatown

China in Context, the UK’s first annual book festival celebrating writers and writing from and about China, is coming to London’s Chinatown for March 2018.

Held at China Exchange, the festival will take place over two weeks, with talks from leading writers, hands-on workshops, and cultural experiences.

China in Context 2018 will focus on the theme of translation; from translating language, to culture and ideas. The festival will open on Monday 5th March 2018 with best-selling contemporary Chinese writer Yan Geling 严歌苓. Author of several novels, including The Lost Daughter of Happiness, The Uninvited and The Flowers of War, Ms Yan’s works have been adapted for the screen by internationally acclaimed directors, such as Zhang Yimou 张艺谋, Chen Kaige 陈凯歌 and Feng Xiaogang冯小刚. 

Throughout the festival a dynamic programme of events will offer something for everyone, from literature lovers and language learners, to China aficionados and novices alike. On Saturday 17 March leading British-Chinese writer and author of The Good Women of China, Xue Xinran薛欣然 will reflect on the changes she has seen since the publication of her seminal novel Miss Chopsticks a decade ago, and how the stories in her works translate for today’s readers. Further events and details will be revealed in the coming months.

China in Context will culminate in a vibrant book fair weekend from 15-18 March – extended by an extra day due to its popularity in 2017. With a book fair of over 1000 titles curated by Cypress Books, there will be enough to keep even the most voracious book worm satisfied!

China Exchange Programme and Partnerships Manager Louise Chapman said “China’s importance to the UK cannot be overstated. Understanding China politically, economically and culturally will be imperative in a post-Brexit Britain. By exploring China’s rich literary tradition, the diverse work of Chinese writers, and writers who write about China, China in Context introduces audiences to new ideas, encourages them to think differently, and make sense of what the future will look like in an increasingly globalised world”.

Jing Ru, Managing Director of Cypress Books, said “Books play an essential role in cultural exchange between countries; they shape our understanding and interpretation of other civilisations. As international interest in China grows, we are thrilled to see contemporary Chinese writers and writing about China gain more and more popularity, and the number of Chinese language learners increase so rapidly. China in Context is a unique and diverse festival for books about China and beyond; by showing China as it is today, we’re inspiring people to read their way into China”.

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