20 July 2010
Author Xu Xi to Explore Multilingual Heritage at Book Fair
Hong Kong Writer to Host Seminar, Preview New “Transnational” Novel
20 July 2010 – Hong Kong author Xu Xi says the HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, which opens tomorrow, will be an important event because it will allow writers to connect with readers who consume literature in multiple languages. “Any book fair is important for any place in the world – and Hong Kong especially. I think it’s important that we don’t lose sight of something other than commerce,” the author said in an interview with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
Ms Xu Xi, a Chinese-Indonesian native of Hong Kong, is writer-in-residence at City University of Hong Kong’s Department of English. In the interview, for the HKTDC’s webcasting service at www.youtube.com/hktdc, Ms Xu Xi offers a preview of her 22 July (Thursday) seminar “Writing between English and Chinese,” which will be conducted in Cantonese despite the fact that she writes in English. “I think people who come to the Book Fair are readers anyway, but they read in Chinese. But I’m sure that since most of them are from Hong Kong, they’re also literate in English, and this may be a way for me to speak to and connect with a different kind of reader.”
Described as “a pioneer English-language writer from Asia” by the New York Times, Ms Xu Xi has published seven works of fiction and essays, including The Unwalled City, Overleaf Hong Kong and Evanescent Isles. Her books focus on identity issues surrounding Hong Kong and Asia. Her latest novel, Habit of a Foreign Sky, was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. She said the new book is “sort of transnational” and tells the story of a “reluctant Eurasian” woman from Hong Kong who is involved with the financial world in Hong Kong, New York and Shanghai.
Organised by the HKTDC, the 21st edition of the Book Fair runs through 27 July, featuring more than 250 cultural events under the theme “Reading the World, Writing the Future.” The fair will also spotlight other notable English-language authors, including James Fenton, Stephen Fry, Andrew Roberts, Frederick Forsyth and American author Andrew Xia Fukuda, who began writing as a student in Hong Kong.
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About the HKTDC
A statutory body established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based traders, manufacturers and service providers. With more than 40 global offices, including 11 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China and throughout Asia. The HKTDC also organises trade fairs and business missions to connect companies with opportunities in Hong Kong and on the mainland, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and online. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com.