well read - Shanghai International Literary Festival

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The spring line-up of literary festivals hosted by M Restaurants kicks off on March 1 with the eleventh annual Shanghai International Literary Festival.


The Festival will host 71 writers from 21 countries, across three weeks of talks, panel discussions, children’s events, literary lunches, and workshops. The 2013 edition features an eclectic mix of bestselling, award-winning authors, exciting new talents, and an array of writers from China and around the world. Featured authors include journalist James Fallows, Man Asian Literary Prize winner Kyung-sook Shin, Swedish crime writer Håkan Nesser, Chinese rock star Cui Jian, ‘the Indiana Jones of entomology’ Mark Moffett, world-renowned pastry chef Nick Malgieri, Booker Prize-shortlisted Jeet Thayil, and many more, and the festival will be the site of several international and regional book launches.

Coffee Table Book

A street-level look at the trends shaping Shanghai's fashion scene, identifying the ideas and important cultural forces behind the trends.

Shanghai Street Style
By Dr Toni Johnson-Woods and Dr Vicki Karaminas,
Photography by Fung Chan

The most creative attire is often found not on the catwalks or inside the auditoriums but on the streets. Shanghai Street Style showcases this diversity
in 100 full-colour images. Alongside the photographs are short pieces of critical commentary, shedding light on the city’s changing culture and how this is expressed through the clothing choices of ordinary city-dwellers going about their daily routines.


Book reviews

To the People, Food Is Heaven: Stories of Food and Life in a Changing China
By Audra Ang

In a place where few things are more important than food, “Have you eaten yet?” is another way of saying hello. After traversing the country, Ang shares her delicious experiences. She tells of a clandestine cup of salty yak butter tea with a Tibetan monk during a military crackdown and explains how a fluffy spring onion omelette encapsulates China’s drive for rural development, providing a fresh perspective beyond the country’s identity as an economic powerhouse.


My Last Empress: A Novel
By Da Chen

When Samuel Pickens’ great love tragically loses her life, Samuel travels the globe, Annabelle always on his mind. Eventually, he comes face to face with the mirror image of his obsession in the last place he would expect, and must discover her secrets and decide how far he will go for a woman he loves. Da Chen immerses the reader in the world of the Chinese imperial palace, where one man searches for his destiny and a forbidden love.


The Sly Company of People Who Care
By Rahul Bhattacharya

A 26-year-old Indian journalist gives up his job and travels to Guyana, a forgotten colonial society of mesmerising beauty. Not only seduced by the country, he is also captivated by the feisty yet fragile Jan, and they embark on an adventure that will take them into a new country and change both their lives. Rahul Bhattacharya’s debut novel was the winner of the Ondaatje Prize 2012, winner of the Hindu Literary Prize 2011, and shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2011.


Dreaming in Chinese: Lessons in life, love and Mandarin
By Deborah Fallows

Why don’t the Chinese say ‘I love you’? How do they get by without maps? Can it ever be rude to be polite? In this book, Deborah Fallows uses stories from three years of living and working in China to offer unique insights into the country’s customs and culture through its notoriously difficult language. She shows how even small advancements, such as mastering a single word or phrase, can unlock grammatical and cultural secrets.


Disappearing Shanghai: Photographs and Poems of an Intimate Way of Life
By Howard W. French
and Qiu Xiaolong

This book is an exploration of life in the rapidly disappearing old quarters of Shanghai, with accompanying poems and essays by Qiu Xiaolong. Howard W. French’s photographs show an intimate visual history of life in the workers’ quarters and other districts before radical efforts at urban reconstruction.



Nury Vittachi

Nury Vittachi is an author, journalist, and much-loved children’s author. Nury is well known for his newspaper columns and Feng Shui detective series. However among children, he’s ‘Mr Jam’. His columns are published in a variety of newspapers and on his website. Nury is a driving force in the literary scene in Asia, as the founder of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, the Man Asian Literary Prize, and the Asian Literary Review. He is currently working on volume five of The Magic Mirror, a series that brings true stories from Chinese history to life.


Kyung-sook Shin

Kyung-sook Shin is the South Korean author of six novels, in addition to her latest book Please Look After Mother, which has sold almost 1.5 million copies in her home country. One of the so-called 386 Generation of women writers, she is also one of South Korea’s most widely read and acclaimed novelists and has been honoured with the Manhae Literature Prize, the Dong-in Literature Prize, and the Yi Sang Literary Prize, as well as France’s Prix de l’Inaperçu. Please Look After Mother is her first book to appear in English and will be published in 29 countries.


Shanghai, China
Distance: 6,775 km
Flight Time: 8 hours, 5 minutes
Frequency: Daily

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