PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 March, 2007, 12:00am

Timothy Kaiser is a Hong Kong resident teacher and poet. His first collection, Food Court, was published in 2003. His work has been published in Canada, Britain, the US and Hong Kong.

Leung Ping-kwan was born and raised in Hong Kong. His many identities include a literary, film and culture critic, a professor of Chinese literature and film studies and a contemporary Chinese-language poet. He has published more than 10 volumes of poems, including bilingual editions such as City at the End of Time (1982) and Travelling with a Bitter Melon (2002). His critical works include Books and Cities (1985) and Hong Kong Culture (1995). He was awarded The Hong Kong Urban Council's Biennial Award for Literature in 1991 (Fiction) and 1997 (Poetry). Leung has held several of his own poetry and photography exhibitions.

Grace Lin was born in New York and attended the Rhode Island School of Design, where she began to create children's books. Her first book, The Ugly Vegetables (1999), won several awards. Lin followed that success with the publication of several more books, including Dim Sum for Everyone! (2001) and Fortune Cookies Fortunes (2004). Her Robert's Snow (2004) became the inspiration for the cancer-fighting fund-raiser Robert's Snow: For Cancer's Cure, and was featured on NBC's Today Show. Lin's first children's novel, The Year of the Dog (2006), was released with glowing praise. One Year in Peking (2006) is her most recent work. She lives in Massachusetts.

Cheryl Long is an illustrator with 15 years of experience. In addition to drawing and painting, she has written a collection of fables for girls and women entitled Twelve Moons and a Maiden, and a novel set in rural Quebec entitled Shine. Dragon Dreams is her first children's book and she is now at work on a second one involving science. She lives in Quebec, where the mountains, trees and rivers inspire her artwork and words.

Andrew McEwan was born in South Africa. He graduated with a degree in political science and worked as a journalist in England and the US. He now works as a freelance writer and media consultant in China. Together with Ed Jocelyn, he co-authored The Long March (2005).

David McKirdy is one of the directors of the Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival and author of the poetry collection Accidental Occidental. A long-time Hong Kong resident, McKirdy is a car mechanic who writes poetry, rides and builds motorcycles and plays the drums. He is a key organiser of poetry events in Hong Kong, including sessions of OutLoud and has inspired many poets to muster the courage to get up and read their work in public.

Peter Moss was born in Allahabad, India, and spent an itinerant childhood in various railway colonies, principally in Bengal. He began working at 15 as an apprentice journalist. He arrived in Hong Kong in 1965 to join the Government Information Services. Moss pioneered many of Hong Kong's major public service campaigns and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for his service to the city. He has published an autobiographical trilogy: Bye-Bye Blackbird: An Anglo-Indian Memoir, Distant Archipelagos: Memories of Malaya and No Babylon: A Hong Kong Scrapbook. Moss has written five novels, including The Singing Tree. His latest is The Age of Elephants.

Ilyas Khan, from Accrington, Lancashire, has lived in Hong Kong since 1989. He has written articles for a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Prestige and Asiaweek. His non-fiction book Underdogs in Overdrive was published in 2001. Most recently he wrote the children's story, The Little Angel Who Was Late for Tea. With his friend and business partner Duncan Jepson, he co-founded Creative Work, a Hong Kong-based company involved in various disciplines such as publishing and films.

Jan Latta met a gorilla in the rugged terrain of Rwanda, an experience that changed her life. She decided to write books to educate children about endangered animals and the need to protect them. To achieve that aim she's authored and published seven True to Life Books. Ping-Ping the Panda and Chipper the Cheetah are two of the titles in the series. Latta lives in Sydney and travels each year to Africa to take photographs and write about animals. After travelling to India she wrote Timba the Tiger. Most recently she visited China to create a new book on baby pandas.

Gail Carson Levine excels in fairy tales with a twist. Her Ella Enchanted (1998) garnered critical acclaim and several awards, including a Newbery Honor. Levine's other books include Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg, which had an initial print run of 1 million copies published in 45 countries. Others are Dave at Night (1999), The Wish (2000), The Two Princesses of Bamarre (2001), the picture book Betsy Who Cried Wolf (2002) and six Princess Tales books. She also has a book about writing called Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly (2006). Levine lives in the Hudson River Valley of New York.

Christine Loh was once described by The Economist as perhaps the Legislative Council's 'most gifted' politician. In her book, Being Here - Shaping a Preferred Future, Loh examines the legacies from her Cantonese and Shanghainese families and the roles they played in shaping her views and character. Since leaving frontline politics, Loh has founded and run Civic Exchange, a non-profit policy think-tank.

Jo Lusby was editor-in-chief at City Weekend Magazine in Beijing before being appointed general manager for Penguin (China). She has lived in Asia for 10 years, and has written news features and documentary scripts on contemporary Chinese art, culture and architecture for the international media.

Victor Mallet was appointed Asia editor of the Financial Times in June 2006. In his previous role as chief Asia correspondent, he won the Society of Publishers in Asia award for opinion writing in 2005 and 2006. His career at the famed newspaper spans 20 years and a variety of overseas correspondent roles in Paris, South Africa and Southeast Asia. Mallett was also deputy features editor and Middle East correspondent while based in London. Before joining the Financial Times he was a correspondent for Reuters in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Paris. He is the author of The Trouble with Tigers: the Rise and Fall of South-East Asia.

Pankaj Mishra was born in North India in 1969. His novel The Romantics (2000) won the Los Angles Times' Art Seidenbaum award for first fiction. An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World (2004), a New York Times Notable Book, mixes memoir, history and philosophy. Mishra's most recent book, Temptations of the West: How to be Modern in India, Pakistan and Beyond, describes his travels through the region. He writes literary and political essays for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, The Guardian, and the New Statesman, while dividing his time between London and India.

Andrew O'Connor's debut novel, Tuvalu, won The Australian/Vogel Literary Award (2005). After graduating with an arts degree from Melbourne University, he worked as a cleaner and a cook in central Australia for a year before jumping at the chance to work in Japan as an English teacher. The experience served not only as O'Connor's rite of passage, but also the inspiration for his novel. For four years, he divided his time between stints teaching English in various regions of Japan and writing in Australia. He is living in London writing a second novel.

Linda Sue Park has lived in Ireland, England and the United States, taught English to non-native speakers, worked as a food journalist and started a family. Her first children's book, Seesaw Girl, was published in 1999 and since then she has written many others, including The Kite Fighters (2000), When My Name Was Keoko (2002) and Project Mulberry (2005). A Single Shard (2001) won the 2002 John Newbery Medal. She has also written five picture books, with the latest being Bee-bim Bop! (2005). She lives in upstate New York.

Sarah Passmore is a producer and presenter for RTHK's Radio 3, and host of current affairs programme Backchat. She started her journalistic career writing for the Dimbleby Newspaper Group in South London before moving to the BBC, where she was a broadcast journalist. She came to Hong Kong in 2000. She makes documentaries, other programmes and presents the lunchtime show Naked Lunch, for which she created a monthly book club.

Peter Neville was born in Britain and served in the Royal Air Force. The Rose of Singapore is a fictionalised account of his experiences in Singapore in 1951. He wrote the book in 1955, when he was 22. But he waited until 1999 to self-publish his story, calling it The Awakening of the Lion: Singapore. Singaporean publisher Monsoon Books recently picked up the book and re-released it under the new title. The Rose of Singapore is a moving work about love, loss and sexual awakening set against the backdrop of the region during the emergency period - a time of active communist terrorism as well as rising nationalism.

Lynne O'Donnell, journalist and writer, has travelled widely throughout Asia, the Middle East and Europe, covering some of the biggest stories of the past two decades, as well as some of the most neglected. O'Donnell's first book, High Tea in Mosul, is the extraordinary tale of two women from the north of England who have married Iraqi men and settled in Mosul for some 30 years. Through their eyes, readers get a glimpse into ordinary Iraqis' lives and the hardships they have to endure. O'Donnell has written for a wide variety of international publications, including The Observer, The Times (London), The Wall Street Journal, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Irish Times and the South China Morning Post.

Sophie Paine was once employed to write and illustrate financial reports but when she moved to snowy Minnesota, the French native found a new career. After a few drawing and painting lessons, she began scribbling drawings to teach English basics to Somali refugees. She now lives in Hong Kong, continues to draw and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. She recently launched her new bilingual double-sided picture book, Are You My Mummy / Es-Tu Mon Papa?

Laksmi Pamuntjak, author and food critic, has written for The Jakarta Post, the socio-economic journal Prisma, and was the resident food columnist for Djakarta! magazine. She has written three editions of The Jakarta Good Food Guide which proved that a restaurant guide can become a best-seller. She edited, translated and introduced Goenawan Mohamad: Selected Poems and is co-founder of the bilingual bookstore Aksara in Jakarta. Her first collection of poetry, Ellipsis, was selected as one of The Herald UK Books of the Year. Her latest book, The Diary of R.S.: Musings on Art, is her first collection of short stories. Pamuntjak is also an accomplished classical pianist.

John Ralston Saul, Canadian author, essayist and philosopher, has most recently written The Collapse of Globalism (2005), a critique of the international financial system. His first novel, The Birds of Prey (1977), was an international best-seller. As an essayist, he is perhaps best known for Voltaire's Bastards: The Dictatorship of Reason in the West (1992). Saul is involved with PEN, the organisation that upholds freedom of speech for writers around the world. In 1990 he was awarded Italy's Premio Letterario Internazionale for The Paradise Eater (1988) and the 1996 Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction for The Unconscious Civilisation (1996). Saul was also named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in Toronto.

Karmel Schreyer has written a trilogy of young-adult novels about Naomi, a 'Third Culture' teen; a few children's books, including Empress Emi-poo: A story About Learning to Love Your Potty and Peek-a-boo Street; a book of educational poetry titled Crunchy Cockroach: Phonics Poems for Hong Kong Kids, and books about Hong Kong such as Hong Kong Surprise: Little-known Facts About Hong Kong, and In the News: Stories of Hong Kong Life - and Things to Think About!

Shih Shu-ching is a Taiwanese writer who made a name with her avant-garde short stories in the 1960s. A former long-term resident of Hong Kong, she is the author of several novels, including The Barren Years, Passing by Loytsin and Blush of Intoxication. Her latest novel is City of the Queen: A Novel of Colonial Hong Kong (2005). Her novels have received awards and been translated into many languages. She lives in New York.

Sun Shuyun is a Chinese historian and author of The Long March (2006). In this definitive account of the historic event, she follows the route of the march, interviews survivors and reconstructs a defining moment in China's history. Sun, who was born in China, grew up in the years of the Cultural Revolution. Her first book, Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud (2004), retraces the 10,000-mile journey of seventh-century Buddhist monk Xuanzang along the ancient Silk Road. She is also a film and television producer, dividing her time between London and Beijing and making documentaries. Her documentary Half the Sky explores changes in the lives of four generations of women.

Amy Tan is the author of the best-selling novel, The Joy Luck Club, for which she also wrote the screenplay. Other novels include The Kitchen God's Wife (1991), The Hundred Secret Senses (1995), The Bonesetter's Daughter (2001) and Saving Fish From Drowning (2005). Tan co-edited Best American Short Stories (1999). Her first work of non-fiction, The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings, appeared in 2003. Tan lives in San Francisco and New York.

David Tang was born in Hong Kong. He studied philosophy and law at university in London, and in 1983-84 taught philosophy at Peking University. Passionate about all things Chinese, he is founder of The China Club, Shanghai Tang and China Tang in London. His other businesses have involved oil exploration, gold mining and cigars. He is a talented pianist and co-owner of Hong Kong contemporary art gallery, Hanart TZ. Tang is the author of An Apple a Week (2006).

Roseanne Thong, born and educated in California, is one of Hong Kong's leading resident authors of children's books. She worked as a journalist but later changed careers when offered a teaching job in Taiwan. She went on to teach in many places, including California, Guatemala, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Thong wrote her first book for her daughter - Round as a Mooncake (2000), which was followed by Red as a Dragon (2001). Her latest book is Gai See: Chinese Market (2006). Thong also enjoys writing adult fiction and poetry. Her work has appeared in literary reviews in North America and Asia. Thong is working on a short story collection.

Mani Rao is the author of seven books of poetry, including 100 Poems 1985-2005, Catapult Season, Echolocation and Salt. Her work has been published in international journals, anthologised and translated into several languages. She has performed at literary festivals in Melbourne, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Singapore and Chicago, and at the PEN World Voices in New York. She was visiting fellow at the Iowa International Writing Programme in 2005, and won the 2006 University of Iowa International Programmes writer-in-residence fellowship. She is a co-founder of the Hong Kong poetry group OutLoud. Rao divides her time between Hong Kong and India.

Rosemary Sayer is the author of a biography of Sir Gordon Wu, The Man Who Turned the Lights On, and a director of The Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival. Before becoming a public relations consultant with her own business, Sayer was regional managing director for Asia at public relations agency GolinHarris. She began her career as a journalist in Australia, and is an enthusiastic traveller, with a particular love for the south of France.

Claire Scobie read history at Cambridge and worked for the Telegraph Magazine. She won the Catherine Pakenham Award for Best Young Woman Journalist of the Year in 1997. Scobie writes for various publications, including The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Sydney Morning Herald, Sunday Life, and the South China Morning Post. In 2000, she shot footage in Tibet that was used by BBC3 in its Dangerzone documentary series. Scobie has worked as a freelance journalist in India, lived in Kathmandu and driven across China. Last year she travelled across the Tanami Desert in Australia's Northern Territory, visiting indigenous communities. Her book, Last Seen in Lhasa, was published in 2006.

Madeleine Marie Slavick is a poet and a photographer. She has written six books of poetry and non-fiction. Her work has been published and exhibited in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the US. She is a leading member of the English poetry society OutLoud, and her work is included in the OutLoud anthology. Her poems have appeared in various anthologies, and representative poems have been translated into Chinese, Arabic and German. Round - Poems and Photographs of Asia won a Bumbershoot Book Award in Seattle. Her latest publication, delicate access, is a bilingual poetry book that includes a collection of her photographs. Over the past 25 years, Slavick has taken on many roles, including poet, teacher of creative writing, environmental campaigner, Alzheimer's aid fund-raiser publisher of bilingual books.

Peter Suart was raised in Hong Kong, and after attending school in Britain, he returned in 1985 to work as an artist, musician, writer and theatre performer. He is the author and illustrator of the 'Tik and Tok' books. The seventh and latest in the series is North. He has illustrated The Lifted Veil - Women's 19th-Century Stories, Christmas Ghost Stories, Hans Christian Andersen's Complete Tales and Robertson Davies' The Deptford Trilogy for The Folio Society in London. Suart is co-founder of 'the box', a theatre music ensemble that produces concerts and music theatre. He has given talks on illustration in Britain and Hong Kong.

Katherine Thomson is a playwright and screenwriter, based in Australia. Her first play was A Change in the Weather, for which she was commissioned to write the film adaptation. Other plays include Darlinghurst Nights, A Sporting Chance and Diving for Pearls, for which she won the Louise Esson Prize for Drama at the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards (1991), and the acclaimed Barmaids. More recent works include Navigating and Fragments of Hong Kong. Thomson also writes for television: her credits include Something in the Air, Wildside, Fallen Angels, GP and Halifax fp, for which she was nominated for the Premier's Literary Award (New South Wales). Most recently, she won an AWGIE Award for co-writing with Answered by Fire, a mini-series about East Timor (the AWGIE Awards are the Australian Writers' Guild annual awards for excellence in screen, television, stage and radio writing). Thomson is a member of the board of the Sydney Theatre Company.

Matthew Vernon has been a Chaplain at St. John's Cathedral since January 2001 and is Priest in Charge of Emmanuel Church, Pok Fu Lam. He reads stories to his three children and tries to find time to read fiction for adults, particularly novels with a Hong Kong or Asian connection.

Kylie Watson-Wheeler is the director of publishing, Australia/New Zealand for Disney Publishing Worldwide. Watson-Wheeler joined Disney in December 2003 and held the role of director, home and infant, before transferring to publishing in February 2006. She had held marketing and advertising positions with Hallmark Cards (and headed Hallmark Magazine), Coca-Cola Amatil and Penguin Books Australia. With a postgraduate degree in marketing and public relations from the University of Canberra, and undergraduate degrees in politics and English from Monash University, Watson-Wheeler has lectured in public relations at Deakin University. She was a past member of the Australian Booksellers Association and is a committee member of the American Chamber of Commerce.

Gore Vidal is a novelist, essayist, playwright and provocateur with a career that has spanned six decades. A public - and often controversial - figure in American literary and political scenes, Vidal embarked on a writing career rather than on the family career of politics. His first book, Williwaw, came in 1946 when he was 21. Two years later he published The City and the Pillar, a novel about a young homosexual. The book received scathingly moralistic notices and The New York Times refused to review his next five novels. He has written 22 novels, five plays, many screenplays, more than 200 essays and the critically lauded memoir, Palimpsest. Vidal's United States: Essays 1952-92 won the 1993 National Book Award. His latest work is Point to Point Navigation. He continues to be a shrewd, uncompromising observer of American political history, cultural history and world culture. He has been praised as 'this century's finest essayist' and is widely considered America's finest man of letters.

Jan Morris (See page 7, Review)

Celestine Hitiura Vaite - Featured on this page