Author line-up

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 24 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 24 February, 2008, 12:00am

Martin Alexander's poetry collection, Clearing Ground, won him the RTHK/SCMP Short Story Competition in 1999 and publication in Dimsum, OutLoud Anthology, Poetry Live! and Al Akhbar. He has been featured at literary festivals in Hong Kong, Singapore, Guangzhou and even Cairo.

Philip Ardagh has written more than 70 children's books, and the BBC's first truly interactive radio series. He collaborated with Paul McCartney on a children's book. He is best known for his series of Eddie Dickens books now published in more than 30 languages. He has also written non-fiction books such as Why Are Castles Castle-Shaped? and Did Dinosaurs Really Snore?

Andrew Barker, who lives and works in Hong Kong, holds a degree in English literature, a Master of Arts in Anglo-Irish literature and a PhD in American Literature. He has been published in journals and anthologies in Asia.

Priya Basil grew up in Uganda and Kenya and was schooled in Britain until her parents were banished from Uganda under the Idi Amin regime, necessitating her return to Africa. The Bristol University graduate authored the acclaimed novel Ishq and Mushq, published in 2007 by Random House Australia. She performed at the Edinburgh Debut Author's Festival and has read at literary events throughout Europe. She lives in Berlin.

Marina Benjamin has worked as a journalist for 15 years at the New Statesman and the Evening Standard, and written columns for the Daily Express and for Scotland on Sunday. Her book Rocket Dreams, exploring pop culture's booming search for extra-terrestrial intelligence after America's leap toward space, was shortlisted for the Eugene Emme Literature Award. Her latest work is Last Days in Babylon: The Story of the Jews of Baghdad.

Fatima Bhutto published a volume of poetry entitled Whispers of the Desert when she was 15. A Columbia University graduate and master of South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, she also wrote 8:50 AM October 8, 2005 (Stories of Hope and Courage from the Earthquake in Pakistan) to raise money for child survivors of the disaster and contributes to Pakistan's largest Urdu newspaper, Jang, and its English sister paper, The News. She has also written diaries from Tehran, and from Lebanon during the 2006 summer war for both papers.

Sarah Brennan, author of A Dirty Story and An Even Dirtier Story, has written another entertaining story for 5- to 10-year olds about greed, bad upbringing and the transformative power of love - The Tale of Chester Choi. The protagonist is a dragon who eats children, but deep inside what he really wants is a friend. It's illustrated by South China Morning Post cartoonist Harry Harrison.

Kerry Brown, educated at Cambridge, London and Leeds Universities, is a scholar of Asia and China studies and has worked extensively in the region. His first book, Struggling Giant: China in the 21st Century, which he co-authored, was published last year and he is working on Rise of the Dragon - Chinese Investment Flows in the Reform Period, to be published this month. He has been published in The Liberal, Far Eastern Economic Review, The Guardian, and other publications in the US, Europe, Hong Kong and Australia.

Cai Tianxin, is a poet, essayist, translator and editor, and a professor of mathematics at Zhejiang University. He has published numerous books and his poems have been translated into 16 languages. He has participated in literature festivals in five continents, and was a resident writer in Switzerland in 2007. Cai was awarded Prose Writer of the Year, 2003, in China by Youth Times and was one of the three finalists for Vilenica Crystal Award For Poetry in 2005.

Ming Chen, an author, and illustrator Mariko Jesse created the children's book Ling Ling Looked in the Mirror about a little girl who imagines all the wonderful things she can grow up to be, from a lion tamer to a paleontologist. The book, written by identical twins Ming and Wah Chen, is the second collaboration with Mariko Jesse: the first book is Sassparilla's New Shoes.

Linda Christanty is an author and journalist born in Bangka near South Sumatra. Her essay Militerisme dan Kekerasan di Timor Leste (Militarism and Violence in East Timor) won a Human Rights Award for Best Essay in 1998. Her collection of short stories, Kuda Terbang Maria Pinto (Maria Pinto's Flying Horse), won the Khatulistiwa Literary Award in 2004. She lives in Banda Aceh and is the chief editor of Pantau Foundation news agency.

David Davidar is a graduate of Madras University and holder of a diploma in publishing from Harvard University (now the Columbia University Publishing Course). He was a journalist before becoming president and chief executive of Penguin Books in India, and relocating to Toronto as president and publisher of Penguin Group (Canada). His first novel, The House of Blue Mangoes, was published in 16 countries and was an international bestseller. His most recent book is The Solitude of Emperors.

Sally Dellow is a poet, playwright and performer who has lived and worked in Hong Kong for 18 years. A 'third-culture kid' who grew up travelling the world, she has written and staged five original works for theatre and her poetry appears in the OutLoud! and PoetryLive! group anthologies.

Tan Twan Eng made the long list in the 2007 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his debut novel, The Gift of Rain. The Penang-born Malaysian writer studied law at the University of London, and later worked as an intellectual property advocate and solicitor. He has been travelling around South Africa and working on his second book.

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Michael Enright is an expert in business competitiveness and strategy teaching at the University of Hong Kong, and director of Asia-Pacific Competitiveness Programme, Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy, director of Enright, Scott & Associates, an economic and strategic consulting firm, director of two Hong Kong listed companies and a founder core associate of the China Dialogues Network (CDN). His most recent publication is China into the Future: Making Sense of the World's Most Dynamic Economy, which he co-edited with John Hoffman.

Larry Feign is an American writer, cartoonist and animation director who has worked in Honolulu, Hollywood, London and Hong Kong, with 15 books in his portfolio. He has produced and directed animation for Disney, Cartoon Network and others, and received several international awards. His latest book is Hongkongitis.

Espido Freire is an acclaimed Spanish writer who has published eight novels since her debut work Irlanda in 1998. She's also written numerous essays and one book of poetry. She is the youngest writer to win prestigious awards such as the Premio Planeta in 1999 for her novel Melocotones Helados (Frozen Peaches), and the Premio Ateneo de Sevilla 2007 for her last novel, Soria Moria. She is conducting research on the fertility myths of the English Literature.

Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight and won a music scholarship as one of Winchester Cathedral's 16 choristers at the age of seven. At 13, he continued his musical studies at Winchester College. He was working as a singing waiter when he completed his first novel, The Aerodynamics of Pork, on the back of his order pad. His latest novel, Notes from an Exhibition, tells the story of artist Rachel Kelly, whose life has been a sacrifice to her art and her debilitating manic depression.

Rob Gifford was Beijing correspondent for America's National Public Radio (NPR) from 1999 to 2005 and reported from around the world, including long periods in Pakistan and Southeast Asia. He has a bachelor of arts in Chinese Studies from Durham University and a master of arts in regional studies (East Asia) from Harvard. Gifford had his first book, China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power, published last year. He is NPR's London bureau chief.

Sayed Gouda is an Egyptian poet and novelist. He majored in Chinese and has been living in Hong Kong since 1992. He has three books of poetry in Arabic and a novel in English called Once Upon a Time in Cairo. He has translated hundreds of poems from and into Arabic, Chinese and English.

Duncan Hewitt has been a BBC correspondent, a translator of contemporary Chinese literature and a journalist for Newsweek. His first book, Getting Rich First: Life in a Changing China, sums up the changes transforming China.

Justin Hill, who lives in Hong Kong, won several awards with his first novel, The Drink and Dream Teahouse, which has been was translated into 11 languages and was banned by the mainland government. His Passing Under Heaven won the 2005 Somerset Maugham Award. In 2001, he was listed in The Independent as one of the Top20 Young British Writers.

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John Hoffmann, with more than 27 years of China-specific experience, is a co-founder and principal of the Exceptional Resources Group, a China-based strategy and transactional consultancy, and co-founder of the China Dialogues Network, which provides information and bespoke advice on China. He recently co-edited China into the Future: Making Sense of the World's Most Dynamic Economy.

Viki Holmes, who lived in Cardiff, Wales, for seven years, has had her works widely anthologised. She has published in Wales, England, Tasmania, Singapore and Hong Kong and in online journals such as Papertiger, Retort and Getunderground. The two-time finalist in the John Tripp Awards for Spoken Poetry and runner-up in the inaugural Hong Kong Poetry Slam was a student of English literature, Welsh language and Egyptology. Her first poetry collection is Miss Moon's Class.

Greg Hunt, a publisher and journalist, wrote They Saddle Dogs while living in the Middle East. The book is an account of a car journey from the United Arab Emirates to his native Britain. Hunt lives in Hong Kong and is working on his first fiction book.

Witi Ihimaera was born in New Zealand and is a novelist, short story writer, anthologist and librettist. He is best known for his 1986 work The Whale Rider, which was made into an international feature film in 2002. His other works include two Wattie Book of the Year Awards winners Pounamu Pounamu and Tangi, as well as The New Net Goes Fishing, the Te Ao Marama series and The Matriarch. Bulibasha: King of the Gypsies was awarded the 1995 Montana Book Award. In 1996, Ihimaera decided to bring his sexuality to the fore and write a gay novel, Nights in the Gardens of Spain. He is a professor at the University of Auckland.

Gail Jones teaches literature, cultural studies and film at the University of Western Australia and is an award-winning author of two books of short stories, The House of Breathing and Fetish Lives, and four novels, including Black Mirror, Sixty Lights and Dreams of Speaking. She has been awarded writing residencies in India, Ireland, the United States and France. Jones' most recent novel, Sorry, is about Australia's 'stolen generation' - the thousands of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children displaced by forcible assimilation.

Mitsuyo Kakuta is known for her essays about rock music and manga and her frequent appearances in popular magazines. She' has authored more than 40 books and is the winner of many literary prizes, including the Noma Literary Prize for New Writers, the Tsubota Joji Prize, the Sankei Children's Book Award, and the Fujin Koron Literary Prize. Woman on the Other Shore won the Naoki Prize in 2005 and is her first book to appear in English.

Isa Kamari has a bachelor of architecture degree from the National University of Singapore and is pursuing a master of philosophy in Malay Literature at the Universiti Kebangsaan, Malaysia. He is Principal Architect with the Land Transport Authority in Singapore, and sits on the boards of many councils and committees including the Singapore Arts Festival and the Committee for Promotion of the Malay Language. His Sumur Usia (Well of Time) was published in 1993 and won the National Book Development Council Award in 1995 in the poetry category. He has also won the Hadiah Sastera Anugerah Persuratan (Malay literature award) twice. In 2006, Kamari received the SEA Write Award in Bangkok, Thailand.

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Edward Larson is the recipient of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History and an author of six books and more than 100 published articles. He writes mostly about issues of law, science and medicine from a historical perspective. His works include Trial and Error: The American Controversy Over Creation and Evolution, Sex, Race, and Science: Eugenics in the Deep South and Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. His most recent publication is Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory. He is editing a volume of Clarence Darrow's writings for the Modern Library and is writing a book on the presidential election of 1800. Larson is the Talmadge chair of law and Russell Professor of American History at the University of Georgia.

Jason Lee, born in Britain, spent his childhood in Malaysia before returning to Britain at the age of nine to continue his studies. Of mixed parentage, he has an master of arts in postcolonial studies and often writes about culture, identity and belonging in his poetry. He lives in Hong Kong and is working on a collection of poems entitled Beds in the East.

Harry Lewis graduated summa cum laude in applied mathematics from Harvard and returned to earn a PhD in applied mathematics. He joined the Harvard faculty and in 2003 was honoured with the title of Harvard College Professor in honour of his teaching excellence. He is the author of five books and articles on various aspects of computer science. His book about higher education, Excellence Without a Soul: Does Liberal Education Have a Future? was a Boston Globe best-seller. A book on the origins and public consequences of the digital information flood, co-authored with Hal Abelson and Ken Ledeen, will appear this year.

Marina Lewycka was born of Ukrainian parents in a refugee camp in Kiel, Germany, at the end of the second world war and grew up in England. Her first novel, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, was published in 2005 and won the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse prize for comic fiction and the Saga award. Her new novel Two Caravans, published last March, has been described as 'heartfelt and funny' by the Daily Mail and 'hilarious and horrifying' by The Guardian. She teaches part-time at Sheffield Hallam University in Britain.

Laura Tyson Li spent a decade living in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan as a business reporter for the South China Morning Post and Taiwan correspondent for The Financial Times. She has also written for The Economist. She authored Madame Chiang Kai-Shek: China's Eternal First Lady.

Yiyun Li grew up in Beijing and moved to the US in 1996. Her stories and essays have been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Guardian and Prospect. She has received grants and awards from the Lannan Foundation and the Whiting Foundation. Her debut collection, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, won international accolades including the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the Guardian First Book Award, and the California Book Award for first fiction. She was recently selected by Granta as Best Young American Novelist.

John Man is a British historian and writer. He was educated at Oxford University and the School of Oriental and African Studies. He worked for Reuters and Time-Life Books before turning to writing full-time in the 1970s. In the 1990s, he began a trilogy on writing, the alphabet and printing with movable type and wrote Alpha Beta (2000) and The Gutenberg Revolution (2002). He returned to Mongolian studies with Gobi: Tracking the Desert, the first book on the region since the 1920s. Work on this book led to Genghis Khan: Life, Death and Resurrection (2004), which appears in 18 foreign-language editions. Attila the Hun (2005) and Kublai Khan: the Mongol King Who Remade China (2006) completed a trilogy of Asian leaders. The Terracotta Army has recently been published to coincide with the British Museum exhibition (from September 2007 to April 2008). This book will be followed by The Great Wall of China.

Ian McEwan has published many award-winning novels and short story collections. He won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, and the Whitbread Novel Award (1987) for The Child in Time. He has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for fiction several times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998. His critically acclaimed novel Atonement received the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (2003), The Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003) and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel (2004). He was awarded the British Empire CBE in 2000. In 2006, he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Saturday. His latest novel is On Chesil Beach, which was shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize for fiction.

David McKirdy is one of the directors of the Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival and the author of the poetry collection Accidental Occidental. The long-time Hong Kong resident and mechanic writes poetry, rides and builds motorcycles and plays the drums. He is a key organiser of poetry events, including sessions of OutLoud.

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Kirsty Murray writes novels for children and teenagers. Her award-winning quartet of historical fiction Children of the Wind has won and been shortlisted for many awards and is widely studied in Australian schools. Her books include Zarconi's Magic Flying Fish, Bridie's Fire and Becoming Billy Dare. Her latest book, The Secret Life of Maeve Lee Kwong, is the fourth in the Children of the Wind series.

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PoetryLive! is a festival initiative featuring local poets publishing a teen-friendly poetry anthology to inspire students to write their own. This year's participating poets include Martin Alexander, Sally Dellow, Viki Holmes, Timothy Kaiser, Arthur Leung, Jason Lee, Shirley Lee, David McKirdy, Jane Wong and Jennifer Wong.

Catherine Sampson, born in England, studied Chinese at university and was later given a scholarship to study at Harvard University for a year. She joined the BBC world service and became the Beijing correspondent for The Times. She's authored crime novels Falling Off Air, Out of Mind and The Pool of Unease. The last of these is set in Beijing, where Sampson lives with her family.

Ziauddin Sardar was born in 1951 in Northern Pakistan and moved to London as a boy. He has published more than 40 books on various aspects of Islam and related subjects, including the international bestseller Why Do People Hate America? and the highly acclaimed Desperately Seeking Paradise: Journeys of a Sceptical Muslim. How Do You Know? Reading Ziauddin Sardar on Islam, Science and Cultural Relations was published in 2006. He is the editor of Futures, a journal of policy, planning and future studies.

Shakespeare4All is a charity that works with primary and secondary school students in English through the adaptation of Shakespearean plays. It was founded in 2003 by Vicki Ooi, who retired from teaching English and Literature at the University of Hong Kong after 30 years as a senior lecturer.

Francesca Simon attended Yale and Oxford universities where she specialised in Medieval Studies. As a freelance journalist she's written for The Sunday Times, The Guardian, The Mail on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph and Vogue. In 1989, Simon launched an award-winning career writing children's books, and her 40 works include Don't Wake the Baby to Moo Moo Baa Quack for the younger reader to the popular Horrid Henry series, published in 17 countries. Simon lives in London.

Madeleine Marie Slavick lives in Hong Kong and works with Oxfam. Her books of poetry and non-fiction include Delicate Access, My Favourite Thing, colo(u)r and Round - Poems and Photographs of Asia. Her writing and her photography have been published internationally, and her poetry translated into several languages.

Dava Sobel is a science writer best known for her book Longitude, first published in 1995, which became an international bestseller and was translated into 30 languages. Her Galileo's Daughter won The Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology, a Christopher Award and was a finalist for the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in biography. Her most recent book, The Planets, earned her the only non-scientist slot on an advisory committee created by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to define the word 'planet'. She is writing a play about Copernicus, called And the Sun Stood Still, for which she received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007.

Rosemarie Somaiah is a professional storyteller, teacher and writer who co-runs the Asian Storytelling Network, Singapore's first professional storytelling company. She has taught, led workshops and performed in Singapore, Scotland, Hong Kong and Hungary. Her books include Gateway to Singapore Culture, Colours of Harmony, Colours of Love and, most recently, Indian Children's Favourite Stories, a delightful collection of Indian folk tales retold for an international audience.

Manreet Sodhi Someshwar, lives in Hong Kong and trained as an engineer, pursued management at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta and worked as a corporate executive in India and the US. She sold soap, gave consulting advice on steel and airlines and devised strategic input for new brands before writing her novel, Earning the Laundry Stripes - A Woman's Adventures in Hindustan Lever's All-Boys Sales Club. Her work also appears in First Proof2, the Penguin India anthology of new writing from India.

Madeleine Thien was born in Canada to Malaysian-Chinese parents. She holds a master of fine arts in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and she received the 2001 Canadian Authors Association Air Canada Award and the 1998 Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop Emerging Writer Award for fiction. Her collection Simple Recipes, was named a notable book by the 2001 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. Her latest novel, Certainty, a finalist for last year's Kiriyama, is about the legacies of loss, the dislocations of war, and the timeless redemption afforded by love.

Colin Thubron is an award-winning travel writer and novelist. His first book, Mirror to Damascus, was published in 1967. He continued to write about the Middle East in The Hills of Adonis: A Journey in Lebanon (1968) and Jerusalem (1969). He is also the author of several novels, including A Cruel Madness (1984), winner of the PEN/Macmillan Silver Pen Award. His novel, To the Last City (2002), tells the story of a group of travellers in Peru. Behind the Wall: A Journey through China (1987) won the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature since 1969, Mr Thubron is a regular contributor and reviewer for magazines and newspapers including The Times. His latest travel book is Shadows of the Silk Road (2006), an account of his 11,265km journey along the route of the Silk Road.

Jane Wong is a Fulbright Scholar from the US, writing in Hong Kong. She is a graduate of Bard College in upstate New York and is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets, the Academy of American Poets and the Naropa School of Disembodied Poetics. Her prose and poetry appears in or is forthcoming from Bombay Gin, Unpleasant Event Schedule, Asia Literary Review, and MiPOesias. She is a volunteer at the Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival.

Jennifer Wong's debut collection of poems Summer Cicadas is a refreshing, poetic journey of homelands, cultural upbringing and personal identity. Born and brought up in Hong Kong with an Oxford education in English Literature, she has been published in various poetry journals locally and overseas. She was a featured speaker at the International Writers Workshop organised by the Baptist University of Hong Kong in 2006. She has also taught creative writing in Hong Kong.

The Word Wrap Chorus, part of Eduarts, is a programme which trains speech/prose speaking backed by live music. It is headed by Lynn Yau, a graduate in English and Comparative Literature, with a master of education in curriculum studies at the University of Hong Kong.

Yan Geling was born in Shanghai and educated at Wuhan University and Columbia College Chicago. She worked as a journalist in the late 1970s covering the Sino-Vietnamese border war. Her first novel was published in China in 1985 and after the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown she left China for the US. Two of her works have been made into films and a collection of her short fiction was translated into English. Her short fiction was the basis for the movie Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl, which offers a pointed critique of capitalism's rise in her native China. Her book titles include The Lost Daughter of Happiness and The Banquet Bug.

Yang Hengjun graduated from Fudan University and subsequently worked in the Foreign Affairs Department in Beijing. From 1992 to 1997, he worked in Hong Kong as the manager of Mainland China Company. He then went to the US as a senior fellow of the Atlantic Council of the US. His novel, Fatal Weakness, is the first in his spy trilogy on government corruption and double-dealing. It is the story of a US-China double agent and is too sensitive to be published in China.

Zhang Lijia See page 2

 

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