Hong Kong International Literary Festivali

We celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival by bringing you book reviews, features, and author profiles connected to the event. Read up before attending events, which run from November 5-15. Visit for details

  • Last year, Shehan Karunatilaka became only the second Sri Lankan to win the Booker Prize, for his gay love story cum murder mystery set in war-torn Colombo
  • A 2023 Hong Kong International Literary Festival guest speaker, he talks about ‘enjoying the ride’, his writing process and hopes for South Asian literature

Science fiction author Chen Qiufan and Kai-Fu Lee, former head of Google China, outline a positive vision for the future of artificial intelligence in their collaboration AI 2041. They tell the Post why.


After growing up Wales, Clare worked with brilliant minds at the BBC and became an accomplished writer. A breakdown and subsequent recovery informs his latest book.

‘How can you give back a colony and be only dimly aware of its history?’ says Sathnam Sanghera of Britain’s handover of Hong Kong to China. The author’s alternative history of modern Britain has become a bestseller.

The novel’s story of the downfall of a white South African family over 30 years is told with mesmerising skill through the use of multiple, shifting narratives. Galgut will appear at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival.

The 2021 Hong Kong International Literary Festival will tap into the therapeutic power of storytelling and cover subjects such as workplace relationships and the city’s three-week quarantine for travellers.

Book therapy, or bibliotherapy, brought Germaine Leece and Sonya Tsakalakis together and now they use their love of reading to help others cope with emotional problems.

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung leavens its heavy narrative – of a girl growing up in Vancouver, and her father in Hong Kong who dies – with a joyful originality and freedom.

The idea of revival and recovery takes centre stage at the 2021 Hong Kong International Literary Festival, whose programme is organised around themes of wellness, community and trauma.

Korean-American writer Stephan Lee tells Tamar Herman about becoming a fan of K-pop, and why he chose to root young adult novels K-Pop Confidential and K-Pop Revolution in the experience of girl groups.

Every character in Paula Hawkins’ London-set third novel is damaged in some way. When two deaths occur and police investigate, two other, past deaths offer clues as to why.

In The Lincoln Highway, bestselling novelist has written a hard-luck road story with a depth and sweep at odds with its premise – three teenagers in a Studebaker seeking a missing mother and a hoard of money.

Hannah Bent, author of When Things are Alive They Hum, about two sisters living apart, one with Down syndrome, never expected to be back living in Hong Kong. ‘Being a third-culture kid … I don’t know where I’m from,’ she says.

Mexico City-born writer Jazmina Barrera explores lighthouses around the world and in literature, while Nancy Jooyoun Kim’s debut novel takes the reader through grief, racism, the Korean war, family separation and more.

Longlisted for the Booker Prize, American-Chinese author C Pam Zhang’s novel takes a timely look at racism in the US through the eyes of two Chinese orphans.

Yan Ge’s novel, translated from Chinese by Jeremy Tiang, follows a cryptozoologist who is tasked with learning about the beasts of a fictional city and in uncovering their stories, discovers more about herself, too.

Cameron Dueck’s 45,000km motorcycle ride, visiting Mennonite communities through the Americas, reveals much about schisms in the isolated religious communities.

Intan Paramaditha’s choose-your-own-adventure narrative offers enchanting journeys through myth and folk tale, even if the fantastic options available are limited by the form.

Sinologist and ‘global historian’ Jeffrey Wasserstrom, who bore witness to the anger and utopia of Occupy Central in 2014 and last year’s Hong Kong protests, makes just one prediction: that he is unlikely to visit China again.

Hong Kong Writers Circle presents a collection of sixteen short stories that explore, reflect and refract the reality of living in Hong Kong though allegory.

Amy Stanley, Sophy Roberts and Marie Lu will be appearing online at this year’s event, but there is still time to become acquainted with their works.

In Tales from the Life of Bruce Wannell, historian Dalrymple joins Wannell’s siblings, neighbours and fellow travellers in celebrating the late linguist and adventurer.

For Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Diaz the Hong Kong International Literary Festival was one of the most memorable he’s participated in; for a first-time author, it marked a turning point. Will this year’s partly virtual event have the same resonance?

The Tran family’s saga of suffering laid out in poet Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s first novel, The Mountains Sing, is also that of her country, Vietnam. Truth is cast as the ultimate hero.

The Singaporean author of Crazy Rich Asians is back with a bang, having moved the crazy to Capri in his latest novel, Sex and Vanity, which, believe it or not, is an homage to E.M. Forster.


China’s meteoric rise is restoring the country to a position it considers the normal and proper state of affairs, explains Michael Schuman in Superpower Interrupted, in which he tells Chinese history as the Chinese learn it.