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Angus Phillips

China Lecture: The Poppy Wars and Yellowface

Rebecca Kuang Interviewed by Angus Phillips

Thursday, 30 March 2023

6:00pm

1 hour

Weston Lecture Theatre

£7 - £12.50

Event sponsored by

Chinese-American fantasy writer Rebecca Kuang talks about her bestselling Poppy Wars series of novels and the forthcoming publication of her latest novel Yellowface.

Kuang grew up in Dallas, Texas, after emigrating from China with her family at the age of four, and has studied in the US and the UK. She was only 19 when she began writing The Poppy War and only 22 when it was published. The plot is based around the second Sino-Japanese war of the mid-20th century. The novel was the first in a trilogy that includes The Dragon Republic and The Burning God. Her fourth novel, Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution is set in 1830s England and her fifth, due out in May, is Yellowface, about a white author who steals a manuscript by a successful Asian-American novelist who dies in a freak accident.

The Poppy War won the 2019 Compton Crook Award for best first English language novel of the year and the 2019 Crawford Award, presented annually by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts. Kuang has a Master of Philosophy in Chinese Studies from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford. Here she talks to Professor Angus Phillips, director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing at Oxford Brookes University.

The event is presented by the Confucius Institute and the Oxford International Centre for Publishing at Oxford Brookes University. Previous Confucius Institute events at the festival were Man Asian Literary Prize Winner Su Tong (2018) and novelist, essayist and filmmaker Xiaolu Guo (2022).

The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels Sponsor of the festival crime fiction programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller International Literary Properties Supporters of the festival green room The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom Cultural Relations Platform Supporter of the festival's Voices of Europe programme Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine and annual science and innovation award BBC World Service International radio partner University of Oxford FT Weekend Title partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Trinity College Trinity College St Cross College St Cross College Lincoln College Lincoln College Worcester College Worcester College New College Exeter College Exeter College: college home of the festival Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Royal Academy of Arts Project People Institute of Hospitality Foodbuy Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme TORVA Books which change you, your mind, your world Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Compassion in World Farming Pasture to Plate Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Critchleys Accountants to the festival CAV Oxford Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Paul Bloomfield Ltd Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography Ox in a Box OX magazine Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence The Wild Geese James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland The Nwelue Trust Abibiman Publishing Flip through Flanders Republic of Panama Event generously supported by Republic of Panama Spanish Embassy Event generously supported by the Spanish Embassy
 

FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival sponsors, donors & partners

The Feathers Hotel Woodstock festival hotel The Randolph Hotel by Graduate Hotels Sponsor of the festival crime fiction programme Italian Embassy Supporter of Italian programme Blackwell’s Festival on-site and online bookseller International Literary Properties Supporters of the festival green room The Dorchester Hotels Collection Festival London hotel partner European Union Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom Cultural Relations Platform Supporter of the festival's Voices of Europe programme Oxford Martin School Festival ideas partner Bodleian Libraries Festival cultural partner Owen Mumford Supporter of programme of science and medicine and annual science and innovation award BBC World Service International radio partner University of Oxford FT Weekend Title partner Marlene Hauser Mary and Cecil Quillen Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture Jill Dunsmore David Isaac Carole and John Allen Lucian Hudson Pank Koria CEO of Project People Masumi and Jonathan Dobson Miles Young Emily Rose and James Marrow Supporters of the programme of American literature and culture George Warren Lady Hatch Patron donor for the programme of Irish literature and culture John Roberts Trinity College Trinity College St Cross College St Cross College Lincoln College Lincoln College Worcester College Worcester College New College Exeter College Exeter College: college home of the festival Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies Royal Academy of Arts Project People Institute of Hospitality Foodbuy Jewish Book Week Partner of Jewish programme TORVA Books which change you, your mind, your world Princeton University Press Prestige publishing partner Symington Wines of the Douro Valley Compassion in World Farming Pasture to Plate Oxford Brookes University Oxford University Images Oxford University Images The Sheldonian Theatre Critchleys Accountants to the festival CAV Oxford Felicity Bryan Associates Conference Oxford Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies University of Oxford Alumni Office Alumni Office Paul Bloomfield Ltd Bear Ram Elk Festival Digital Strategy & Web Design BBC Radio Oxford Local radio partner The Oxford Times Regional media partner Racalia Olive Oil Olive oil from Sicily Schoolreaders The Litmus Partnership K T Bruce Photography K T Bruce Photography Ox in a Box OX magazine Siren Communications Siren Communications - corporate consultants Chêne Bleu Wines of Provence The Wild Geese James Currey Society Hattus Books Hattus Books La Cave Musik Pusey House Cervantes Institute, London Confucius Institute Literature Ireland The Nwelue Trust Abibiman Publishing Flip through Flanders Republic of Panama Event generously supported by Republic of Panama Spanish Embassy Event generously supported by the Spanish Embassy