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Writing Without Borders

Sunday 3 April 2016

1 Hour


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Ticket price

Two bestselling American writers, Gail Tsukiyama and Xu Xi, discuss how their varied backgrounds have influenced their ‘transnational’ novels, poetry and essays. The writers’ works are set across different cultures and in different nations, both today and in the past.
Tsukiyama was born in San Francisco to a Japanese father and a Chinese mother. She is a bestselling novelist and winner of the Academy of American Poets Award and the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award. Her novels include A Hundred Flowers, set at the start of the Chinese Cultural revolution in 1957, The Street of a Thousand Blossoms, which follows the struggles of a Tokyo family during the Second World War and the immediate decades afterwards, and Dreaming Water, set in contemporary America. 

Xu is an Indonesian-Chinese native of Hong Kong who became a US citizen at the age of 33. She is author of ten works of fiction and essays.  Her newest novel, That Man In Our Lives, expands the fictional universe of three earlier novels – Habit of a Foreign Sky, The Unwalled City and Hong Kong Rose – locating New York as the perch from which to view the shifting balance of power between China and the US.  Other recent titles are Access: Thirteen Tales, featuring mobile Chinese characters seeking identity in a global context and the novel, Habit of a Foreign Sky, revolving around mixed-race single mother Gail Szeto as she shuttles between New York, Hong Kong, and Shanghai. It was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize.

Discussions will be chaired by Erica Wagner, consulting literary editor of Harper’s Bazaar, former literary editor of The Times, and writer of short stories and a novel, Seizure. She has been a judge of the Booker, Orange, Whitbread First Novel, and Forward prizes.

Discussions are chaired by journalist and writer Erica Wagner, consulting literary editor of Harper’s Bazaar and a former literary editor of The Times between 1996 and 2013.

Programme of American literature and culture.