The full program has been released for next week’s Chinese Writers Festival in Melbourne.
The bilingual festival will feature a number of international and local writers, including Chekhov Literature Award winner Lei Tao (Xi'an), Xu Xi (New York / Hong Kong), Alice Pung (‘Growing up Asian in Australia’), Ouyang Yu (‘The English Class’), Belinda Jiang (‘Blossom in Australia’) and Wang Ruobing (‘Our Family’s Women’).
Two starkly different strands of Chinese literature will feature at the festival, which promises to spark thought-provoking discussions on the reading of contemporary China: from the mountains to the sea.
“There has always been a market for Asian Australian literature because Asian-Australians have been here since 1820,” said Chinese Writers Festival guest Alice Pung. “However, much of this literature has been written by non-Asians, and often tends to 'exoticise' the Orient.”
“However, since there are more Mainland Chinese, and Chinese from other parts of Asia here, there has been more diversity in what Chinese writers bring to Australian literature,” she explains, “So the market is expanding, both in terms of Asian-Australian literature as well as Chinese literature from abroad.”
The lead-up to the festival will also provide professional development for emerging translators through two events with the Marco Polo Project, an introduction to Reading and Writing Across Languages and an All-You-Can Translate workshop on Saturday 27 August.
“Having had my books translated, and worked closely with a translator, I believe translation is as creative as writing, and translators are cultural mediators,” said Pung. “They cannot change the plot of the story, but they have to adapt its details to another culture while maintaining the integrity of the original voice and character.”
You can find the full program and book tickets on this website.
The Chinese Writers Festival is presented in partnership with Aust-China Writers Association, Chinese Poets & Authors Society of Victoria, Melbourne Chinese Writers Friendship Association, Yarra Libraries, Writers Victoria, Melbourne Writers Festival and WrICE.
Bloggers in residence Allison Chan and Xia Cui will document the festival through a series of articles and live-tweets, thanks to our partnership with Peril magazine.
The festival is made possible by the support of Creative Victoria and the Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature Office.