Date of this Version
March 15, 2008 in The China Beat http://www.thechinabeat.org/
For the past week, all over China, writers have been bumping into each other at hotel check-ins, or at breakfast, in taxi queues. They have waved/hugged/air kissed, and asked: “Are you doing Beijing? Shanghai? Suzhou? Chengdu? Hong Kong….?” (In terms of one-upmanship a simple ‘yes’ to each can’t be beaten.)
Who’d have thought it? Book festivals – originally the cultural preserve of western cities – are popping up in several of China’s big urban centers. With one major difference, of course – they are run and largely attended by a rapidly growing population of expatriates. Much of the content is China-related – even those of us who have China in front of our eyes are always eager for more information, and different ways of interpreting what we see.
I started at the Bookworm in Beijing, where I live, then flew down to Hong Kong, and now, if it’s Thursday, I must be in Shanghai.(No Suzhou or Chengdu for me, I hang my head in shame.)