2017 Shanghai International Literary Festival Guide

By Andrew Chin, February 28, 2017

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Bibliophiles of the city, rejoice! The multi-faceted wonders of the written word are being made manifest once more, as literati from around the world alight in Shanghai to dazzle with their wit and wisdom. From award-winning literary icons to Game of Thrones loving historians, the M Restaurant Group is bringing every creed of author to Glam to pay homage to the delight of reading from March 10-22.


Friday, March 10 

Jeff Wasserstrom: The Boxers & Buffalo Bill – Stories of China in 1900

Jeff Wasserstrom: The Boxers & Buffalo Bill – Stories of China in 1900

The renowned historian and professor of modern China explores Buffalo Bill’s incredibly popular Wild West show of 1901 that gave Americans a glimpse of China while depicting the previous year’s Boxing Uprising and invasion by the Eight Allied Armies. Wasserstrom will also delve on other representations from that era, as well as Buffalo Bill’s ties to the Middle Kingdom.
Mar 10, noon, RMB150. Glam, tickets.


Saturday, March 11

Alec Ash: Little Emperors, Rat Tribes

Alec Ash: Little Emperors, Rat TribesFounder of China based writer colony, The Anthill, Ash follows six young Chinese with vastly different backgrounds in his acclaimed debut book, Wish Lanterns: Young Lives in China. He explores the country's generation gap, especially those felt by the post-80s generation that grew up during China's rapid growth.
Mar 11, 10am, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets. Read the full interview with Alec Ash here.


Duncan Clark: Pragmatism vs Populism

Duncan Clark: Pragmatism vs Populism

Jack Ma may be having meetings with President Trump about job creation, but Duncan Clark was there at the beginning where the tech entrepreneur founded his future monolith, Alibaba, in a modest Hangzhou apartment in 1997. Clark recounts Ma's journey from English teacher to global power player in Alibaba: The House That Jack Ma Built, while exploring budding issues like rising anti-trade sentiments across the world in his Shanghai Lit Fest talk.
Mar 11, noon, RMB85 (RM40 for students). Glam, tickets. Read the full interview with Duncan Clark here.


Stan Grant: Talking To My Country

Stan Grant: Talking To My Country

The esteemed Australian journalist previously served as a CNN correspondent in Beijing. His Walkley Award-winning memoir, Talking to My Country, recounts his journey as a Wiradjuri man from poverty stricken upbringings to respected television presenter. Grant will discuss the book’s impact and how it has sparked an ongoing discussion around culture, racism and what society can do better.
Mar 11, 2pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Amy Tan and Duncan Clark: A Conversation Between Writers

 Amy Tan and Duncan Clark: A Conversation Between Writers

Ever since The Joy Luck Club stormed onto the New York Times Bestseller list for 77 weeks, Tan has stood as a giant in Asian-American literature. She explores her writing process and how her family's past in Shanghai has helped shape her style in a conversation with friend and fellow writer, Duncan Clark.
Mar 11, 4pm, RMB85 (RMB45 for students). Glam. Read the full interview with Amy Tan here. Read the full interview with Duncan Clark here.


That’s Shanghai Erotic Fiction Contest

That's Shanghai Erotic Fiction Contest

Over the years, the city’s literary souls have regaled us with tales of Scottish lords wooing maidenly Metro attendants, divine giantesses satisfying their lust by straddling the Pearl Tower and randy robots breaking a lot more than Isaac Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics. Join us once again for the That's Shanghai Erotic Fiction Competition and vote for the raunchiest writer in Shanghai.
Mar 11, 6pm, free entry. Glam.


Sunday, March 12

Jan Latta: Life of a Wildlife Photographer

Jan Latta: Life of a Wildlife Photographer

In this children's session, the wildlife photographer recounts her adventures with cheetahs, gorillas, pandas and other endangered species that she celebrates in her True to Life children's book series. Latta will mix a message of conservation with videos that she created of her adventures in Borneo, India, Sri Lanka and Africa.
Mar 12, 10am, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets. Read the full interview with Jan Latta here.


Amy Tan: Where the Past Begins

 Amy Tan: Where the Past BeginsThe acclaimed author previews her upcoming book, Where the Past Begins - a memoir that examines how her family's history shaped her writing style.
Mar 12, noon, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, ticketsRead the full interview with Amy Tan here


Taras Grescoe: Shanghai Grand

201702/09-TarasGrescoe.jpg

The best-selling writer from Montreal has received his greatest praise yet for his latest work that brings to life 1930s Shanghai. Grescoe explores life in the Shanghai International Settlement by following the intertwining paths of Sir Victor Sassoon, the flapper Emily “Mickey” Hahn and the decadent poet Zau Sinmay.
Mar 12, 2pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


The Great FT Debate: Has Western Democracy Been Discredited?
The Great FT Debate: Has Western Democracy Been Discredited?

As the world spins from the twin shocks of Brexit in the UK and the election of President Trump in the US, some have wondered whether these populist outpourings are a result of ‘too much’ democracy. Financial Times heavy hitters Lucy Hornby, Roula Khalaf, Victor Mallet, Demetri Sevastopulo, John Thornhill, Feng Wang and Jamil Anderlini discuss.
Mar 12, 4pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Monday, March 13

Education Panel: Where’s the Chinese Steve Jobs?
Education Panel: Where’s the Chinese Steve Jobs?

As China moves away from creating exports to becoming a global innovation engine, there’s a push for innovation in creating new products and services that define the times. Ground zero is China’s school system and education analysts Jiang Xueqin, Lenora Chu and Rosaline May Lee will discuss where reform efforts may lead.
Mar 13, noon, RMB150. Glam, tickets.


Rob Schmitz: Street of Eternal Happiness
 Rob Schmitz: Street of Eternal Happiness

The NPR Shanghai correspondent has been receiving glowing reviews for his 2016 book, Street of Eternal Happiness: Big City Dreams Along a Shanghai Road. A celebration of Changle Lu, the book examines how China's rapid growth has affected laobaixing (common people) while delving deeply into the lives of the street's residents.
Mar 13, 6pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets. Read the full interview here.


Tuesday, March 14

Keiko Itoh & Betty Barr: Shanghai Under Japanese Occupation – Two Mother’s Stories
Keiko Itoh & Betty Barr: Shanghai Under Japanese Occupation – Two Mother’s Stories

The two authors explore their mothers’ contrasting experiences of the Japanese occupation of Shanghai. In Ruth’s Record, Barr revisits her American mother’s wartime diary that included time at Lunghua internment camp. Itoh’s My Shanghai 1942-46 is a fictionalized account of a Christian Japanese mother’s struggle with her privileged position in the city.
Mar 14, noon, RMB150. Glam, tickets.


Mihos Kinnas: Haiku Workshop
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The acclaimed Japanese writer has published a book of poems, Today Fish Only, and is also a translator of poems in Japanese and in English. In this workshop, Kinnas will focus on the craft of haiku and its boundless opportunities for expression.
Mar 14, 3pm, RMB100. Glam, tickets.


Geremie Barmé: China Heritage Annual - Nanking

Geremie Barmé: China Heritage Annual - Nanking

The historian, cultural critic and editor launches the latest edition of the publication China Heritage Annual, which focus on the history, culture and national life of Nanking from its time as a dynastic center in the 3rd century to today.
Mar 14, 6pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Wednesday, March 15

Christine Kelly: This is No Place For Women – An Eyewitness in the Crimea
Christine Kelly: There is No Place For Women – An Eyewitness in the Crimea

The respected authority on the Crimean War recounts the saga of Fanny Duberly, an officer’s wife whose journals of the war became a sensation after being published in 1855. While some praised Duberly as ‘the new heroine of Crimea,’ Kelly explores how she also became a subject of ridicule to others.
Mar 15, noon, RMB150. Glam, tickets.


Timothy Garton Ash: Ten Principles For A Connected World

Timothy Garton Ash: Ten Principles For A Connected WorldThe award-winning political author and Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford will examine the impact that liberalism has had on societies around the world.
Mar 15, 6pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Thursday, March 16

Sabine Berendse & Paul Clements: Brect, Music and Culture
Sabine Berendse & Paul Clements: Brect, Music and Culture

In this music panel, Berendse and Clements will take audiences back to 1958 East Berlin – the year that Bertolt Brecht’s assistant Hans Bunge began interviewing Brecht’s best friend, composer Hanns Eisler. These talks provided illuminating insight into the influential playwright’s ideas and personality.
Mar 16, noon, RMB150. Glam, tickets.


David Perry, Jen Bervin & Jen Hyde: Poetry Panel

David Perry, Jen Bervin & Jen Hyde: Poetry Panel

Three American poets discuss their work that is inspired by China but free of the ‘ancient,’ ‘classical’ and ‘romantic’ motifs that so often plague the genre.
Mar 16, 6pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Friday, March 17

James McGregor, Shirley Lin & Harry Harding: The Global New Normal

James McGregor, Shirley Lin & Harry Harding: The Global New NormalGreater China Chairman for APCO Worldwide and former China bureau chief at The Wall Street Journal James McGregor joins University of Virginia professors Shirley Lin and Harry Harding to examine ‘the global new normal.’ With a growing backlash in high-income economies against the impact of globalization on stagnant wages and budding inequality, political leaders and international businesses are growing uncertain of the proper way to react.
Mar 17, noon, RMB150. Glam, tickets.


Witi Ihimaera: Writing Workshop

Witi Ihimaera: Writing WorkshopThe distinguished Maori writer behind the internationally acclaimed The Whale Rider will share his expertise in this workshop. Ihimaera will discuss the craft of writing and balancing structure with character development. Attendees will need to send a short two- or three-page novel portfolio to  naomi@m-restaurantgroup.com.
Mar 17, 3pm, RMB100. Glam, tickets.


Saturday, March 18

Rob Oram: Orthodox is Obsolete, Conventional is Kaput

Rob Oram: Orthodox is Obsolete, Conventional is Kaput

For four decades, the New Zealand journalist has carved out an outstanding reputation for his insight into international business. For his latest work, the former Financial Times scribe traveled to Beijing, London and Chicago to discuss with leaders in science, business and politics about their city’s relationship between ecology and economy.
Mar 18, 10am, RMB85. Glam, tickets.


Carolyne Larrington: Winter is Coming

Carolyne Larrington: Winter is Coming

Carolyne Larrington is a Professor of Medieval European Literature at the University of Oxford. Like all right-thinking human beings, she is also a huge fan of Game of Thrones. The result is Winter Is Coming: The Medieval World of Game of Thrones, in which Larrington explores how George R R Martin constructed his expansive universe out of Middle Ages history and myth. She'll discuss the the Medieval Earth-Westeros and Essos parallels with fellow Game of Thrones nerd and lord of the That's office, Ned Kelly.

Mar 18, noon, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets. Read the full interview with Carolyne here.


Lijia Zhang: Lotus

Lijia Zhang: LotusAcclaimed for her bold insight into contemporary China, the factoryworker-turned-writer will discuss her first novel. Released earlier this year, Lotus is inspired by the secret life of her grandmother set in the lurid streets of Shenzhen.
Mar 18, 2pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Madeleine O’Dea: Phoenix Years
 Madeleine O’Dea: Phoenix Years

The veteran journalist first arrived in Beijing in 1986 as a young foreign correspondent for The Australian Financial Review. However, she quickly became entranced with China’s art scene, which she covered for three decades. O’Dea shares stories from her new book, The Phoenix Years, which documents China’s rapid economic rise by following nine Chinese contemporary artists.
Mar 18, 4pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Birgit Glatzel, Yuyang Lu & Matjaz Tancic: Documenting Reality

 Birgit Glatzel, Yuyang Lu & Matjaz Tancic: Documenting RealityThis panel of photographers discuss ways to capture raw shots in challenging environments, by sharing personal stories of their work documenting disparate subjects from Syrian refugees on Greek islands to Chinese fishermen off the coast of West Africa.
Mar 18, 6pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Sunday, March 19

Sarah Brennan: Rickshaw the Rooster

Sarah Brennan: Rickshaw the Rooster

A Shanghai Literary Festival favorite, Brennan has delighted families with her series of children’s books, The Chinese Calendar Tales, which bring to life the animal of the year of the Chinese zodiac for a romp through Chinese history. Her latest, The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster, is the first to be set in Shanghai. It recounts a rollicking race on the Bund set in the 1920s and its unlikely winner.
Mar 19, 10am, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Anne Sebba: Les Parisiennes – How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s

Anne Sebba: Les Parisiennes – How the Women of Paris Lived, Loved and Died in the 1940s 201702/29-AnneSebba.jpg

The best-selling biographer pays tribute to the brave women in Paris that stood up to the Nazis during the 1940s occupation. From native-born-resisters to housewives, Sebba will discuss the motives behind why these women chose to risk their lives when they could have followed the majority in saving themselves.
Mar 19, noon, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Claire Keegan: Reading and Q&A

Claire Keegan: Reading and Q&AThe award-winning writer of Antarctica, Walk the Blue Fields and Foster has been translated into 15 different languages and was the recipient of the inaugural Irish-Chinese Literature Translation Prize.
Mar 19, 2pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Witi Ihimaera, Lee Tamahori & Anne O’Brien: Stories By Book & Screen

 Witi Ihimaera, Lee Tamahori & Anne O’Brien: Stories By Book & Screen

Maori novelist Witi Ihimaeri joins acclaimed director Lee Tamahori, whose latest film Mahana happens to be an adaptation of an Ihimaera novel. The two will discuss with Auckland Writers Festival director Anne O’Brien the opportunities and challenges of telling a story across the two mediums.
Mar 19, 4pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Patrick Lapeyre: La Vie Est Breve Et Le Desir Sans Fin

La Vue Est Breve Et Le Desir Sans Fin
The winner of the 2010 Prix Femina, Lepeyre will discuss his latest novel about a femme fatale and the wake of destruction she leaves. The session will be held in French with Chinese translations.
Mar 19, 6pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Monday, March 20

Philip Marcovici: The Destructive Power of Family Wealth

Philip Marcovici: The Destructive Power of Family Wealth

The founder and now retired CEO of LawInContext, the interactive knowledge venture of global firm Baker & McKenzie, will introduce his newest book. The Destructive Power of Family Wealth: A Guide to Succession Planning, Asset Protection and Wealth Management provides tips to wealthy families and their advisors on how to avoid their fortune turning into a destructive force.
Mar 20, noon, RMB150. Glam, tickets.


Lee Tamahori & Anne O’Brien: Mahana

 Lee Tamahori & Anne O’Brien: MahanaInternationally acclaimed director Lee Tamahori comes home for his first film set in New Zealand. Based on Witi Ihimaera’s novel Bulibasha: King of the Gypsies, Mahana will be screened followed by a discussion between Tamahori and Anne O’Brien, festival director of the Auckland Writers Festival, about what drew him to the project.
Mar 20, 6pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Tuesday, March 21

Mei Zhang: Travels Through Dali With A Leg of Ham

Mei Zhang: Travels Through Dali With A Leg of HamThe founder of the award-winning sustainable travel company WildChina pays tribute to the fantastic cuisine and chill vibes of her hometown of Dali. Part-travelogue, part-cookbook, Travels Through Dali With A Leg of Ham is a celebration to Yunnan's unique cuisine, its distinct connection with Southeast Asia and its gorgeous geography.
Mar 21, noon, RMB150. Glam, tickets. Read the full interview here.


The Hero’s Journey: Film Panel

 The Hero’s Journey: Film PanelGolden Bear nominated director Dominique Othenin-Girard moderates a panel discussion focusing on film appreciation. Short film excerpts from diverse films from La La Land to Hacksaw Ridge will be examined by Screen International reviews editor Fionnuala Halligan, acclaimed Shanghai writer Liu Zhen and Shanghai Vancouver Film School’s lead writer instructor Michael Bruce Adams.
Mar 21, 6pm, RMB85 (RMB40 for students). Glam, tickets.


Wednesday, March 22

Culinary Memories of Displacement

 Culinary Memories of Displacement

At this literary lunch, bilingual writer Ting Guo talks about her upcoming book, Culinary Memories of Displacement, a story of how the cuisines of immigrants, refugees and travelers who’ve resettled in Tokyo, Shanghai and New York have changed each city’s culture.
Mar 22, noon, RMB150. Glam, tickets.


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