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Renowned authors speak at HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair

HONG KONG, Jul 9, 2021 – (ACN Newswire via SEAPRWire.com) – The long-awaited 31st HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair takes place from 14 to 20 July at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The theme of this year’s Book Fair is “Inspirational and Motivational Reading” and one of the highlights will be the “Eight Seminar Series”, offering inspiration and helping readers enjoy a trip around the literary world. The “Renowned Writers Seminar Series”, co-organised with Mingpao and Yazhou Zhoukan, and the “English and International Reading Series” supported by Book Depository will invite renowned authors from around the globe to share their writing journeys with readers at a series of virtual and in-person seminars.

The Renowned Writers Seminar Series will welcome Fan Jinshi, known as the “Daughter of Dunhuang”, and Gu Chunfang, co-author of “Dunhuang is Where My Heart Belongs: Biology of Fan Jinshi”, to share Ms Fan’s conservation endeavours in the Dunhuang region of Mainland China over the past five decades. In addition, author Ping Lu will share with readers how her two battles with cancer have taken her into previously unexplored areas in the realm of her creative writing. Other authors in the star-studded line-up include Liang Hong, Shuang Xuetao and Wei Hui from Mainland China and Cheng Pei-kai, Louis Ng, Xu Zidong, Ronald Soong and Zhou Jieru from Hong Kong.

The “English and International Reading Series” invites renowned authors from around the globe to share their creative experiences. The line-up features Heather Morris, author of worldwide bestselling novels “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” and “Cilka’s Journey”; renowned British broadcaster and writer Jeremy Vine; New York Times bestselling author of young adult novels “Brigid Kemmerer”; and other acclaimed authors such as Neil Gaiman, Julia Lovell, Peter Gordon, Juan Jose Morales, Gillian Bickley and Mark O’Neil. The international speakers will interact with Hong Kong literature lovers via video link, sharing the experiences behind their outstanding works and embarking on an inspirational journey together.

Fan Jinshi – 50 years of heartfelt memories in Dunhuang

During her days at the Department of Archaeology at Peking University, Fan Jinshi visited Dunhuang, a city on the edge of the Gobi Desert in China’s northwestern Gansu Province, for an internship. After graduation, she joined the Research Institute on Cultural Relics of Dunhuang to work as an archaeologist. For some 50 years she lived a routine life, dedicating herself to research work in the famous Mogao Caves. In an interview, she shared that: “I was used to entering the caves on a daily basis. As well as the darkness when I was inside, I also enjoyed the first beam of sunlight that shone into the cave every morning – I saw the Buddha on the murals blush slightly and give a slight smile.” Ms Fan now identifies as a citizen of Dunhuang and dedicates her life to the city and its history.

Fan Jinshi has made a far-reaching contribution to the development of Dunhuang. Her key research areas include the protection and management of the Mogao Caves and archaeological excavations conducted there. After 40 years of residing in the region, Ms Fan published the significant “Archaeological Report on Cave 266-275 of the Mogao Grottoes”, for which she received widespread recognition and later garnered multiple awards. A lot of Ms Fan’s Hong Kong readers are eagerly anticipating her sharing on the stories behind Dunhuang.

In 2020, the publication of “Dunhuang is Where My Heart Belongs: Biology of Fan Jinshi”, written by Gu Chunfang, attracted a lot of public attention. Gu Chunfang and Fan Jinshi spent four years working together to write the archaeologist’s autobiography. At the Book Fair, they will join via video link to guide readers through the heartfelt and intricate words of the biography and understand Ms Fan’s enthusiasm for Dunhuang and its famous caves at a seminar titled “Dunhuang is Where My Heart Belongs”.

Ping Lu – learning to face up to fear

Born in Taiwan, Ping Lu is a graduate of the Department of Psychology at National Taiwan University and a master graduate from the University of Iowa. She has also gained a reputation as one of the most popular contemporary novelists in Mainland China. She has won numerous awards including the United Daily Best Fiction Award and the Best Prose Award and Best Script Award from the China Times. Her works are renowned for covering a wide range of topics, addressing cultural, social and gender issues, and her writing style is noteworthy for being gentle and precise at the same time.

Although Ms Ping’s name literally means “a flat pathway”, becoming a successful writer has not always been a smooth journey. In 2018, a medical check-up revealed that the writer was suffering from lung cancer. “The Gaps”, published in 2020, recorded her experiences and the changes in her thinking after twice having had cancer. In the face of a life-changing disease, she could not escape from the anxiety and her only choice was to embrace her nightmare. She stared fear directly in the face and realised that the greatest obstacle came from the stereotypes built up around illnesses, and cancer in particular.

Ms Ping will talk on the topic “Gifts from the Gaps – For You the Suffering” at the Book Fair, sharing with the general public about what she learned during the journey of illness and hoping to enlighten those who are also suffering from pain and disease.

Heather Morris – the art of listening in writing historical fiction

New Zealand-born Heather Morris is one of the renowned speakers taking part in the English and International Reading Series. A booklover since childhood, Ms Morris was always curious about the world, once saying that “you can escape from reality in an encyclopaedia and fly to a faraway land”. She was always true to herself and followed her passion for storytelling, studying professional screenwriting in Australia in 1996. Her works have won wide acclaim and have even been adapted into Oscar-winning screenplays.

In 2003, Ms Morris met a survivor of Auschwitz, the notorious World War 2 concentration camp, who worked in the camp as a tattooist. She recorded his story and pieced together the fragments of pain, suffering and hope into a powerful script that won international acclaim before being turned into her debut novel, “The Tattooist of Auschwitz”. Along with her second novel, “Cilka’s Journey”, her books have sold more than 7 million copies worldwide. Ms Morris will talk via video link at the Book Fair on the theme “Writing & The Power of Listening”, sharing on the importance of writers being able to listen.

Jeremy Vine – investigations into war and human nature

Jeremy Vine is an English writer, broadcaster and journalist. He is best known as the host of a BBC Radio lunchtime programme for almost 20 years as well as impressing with in-depth interviews and reports related to politics and war. He has reported on the aftermath of wars in Africa, witnessing the carnage inflicted by the Eritrean-Ethiopian War and the Angolan Civil War. He was named Speech Broadcaster of the Year in 2005 and won a Sony Award for Interview of the Year in 2011 for his interview with Britain’s then Prime Minister Gordon Brown during the 2010 general election.

His experience witnessing the evils of war has provided him with a great deal of inspiration. Last year, Mr Vine published “The Diver and the Lover”, a novel about two war-survivor sisters who lost their home and fled to Catalonia where they struggled to make a living, and thereafter their encounter with surrealist artist Salvador Dali that triggered a series of surprising events. The author actually saw a painting by Dali that deeply touched him and gave him the inspiration to write the story. Mr Vine will give a video talk titled “The Painting that Changed My Life”, explaining the relationship between the painting and “The Diver and the Lover”, and will also share his thoughts on war and humanity with the audience.

Please visit the Event Schedule page (https://hkbookfair.hktdc.com/en/Events/Event-Schedule.html) for more details of the Renowned Writers Seminar Series and the English and International Reading Series. Registration is free and open to the public.

For enquiries about interviews with the seminar speakers, members of the media should email clayton.y.lauw@hktdc.org. Please provide details of the interview format, proposed questions and contact information in the email.

Seminar Series information and photo download: https://bit.ly/35WxcRD

The 31st HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, HKTDC Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo and World of Snacks
– Hong Kong Book Fair: www.hkbookfair.com/en
– Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo: www.hkbookfair.com/hksportsleisureexpo/en
– World of Snacks: https://worldofsnacks.hktdc.com

About HKTDC

The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via trade publications, research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn

Media enquiries
HKTDC Communication & Public Affairs Department
Sunny Ng, Tel: +852 2584 4357, Email: sunny.sl.ng@hktdc.org
Clayton Lauw, Tel: +852 2584 4472, Email: clayton.y.lauw@hktdc.org

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