• The Publishing Post

Hong Kong International Literary Festival

When: 5-15 November

Where: Register for online events here.

The 20th edition theme of HKILF ‘Present Tense/Future Perfect’ explores in fiction and non-fiction how the world is responding to issues such as health, inequality and climate change, as well as possible future directions for humanity and the planet. We will present more than 70 events featuring writers and speakers from around the world. This year’s line-up includes two 2020 Booker Prize long listed authors, Colum McCann and C Pam Zhang; Irish Fiction Laureate, Sebastian Barry; Pulitzer Prize winners Jhumpa Lahiri and Jonathan Kaufman; Vera and Shetland crime series author Ann Cleeves; poet Marilyn Chin, editor of The Atlantic David Frum; historians Thant Myint-U, and William Dalrymple; and journalists Ananth Krishnan, Bob Davis and Lingling Wei. See full list of speakers here.

Videos would still be available for access after the events have ended. Here are some highlights:

9 November, 12:30 pm GMT

Korean Literature Night - Seoul Spotlight: Urban Realities

Bae Suah is known as one of the boldest and most innovative voices in contemporary Korean fiction. Her latest novel published in English, Untold Night and Day, follows 28-year-old Ayami through Seoul on a hallucinatory journey in search of her missing friend. Overlapping realities repeat, collide, and change in a meditation on the nature of seeking. Forging a path through urban life is also a theme of Frances Cha’s debut novel If I Had Your Face, which depicts four young women making their way in a world defined by impossible standards of beauty, ruthless social hierarchies, and K-pop mania. The two authors talk with Kelly Falconer about friendship, gender roles and the search for meaning and connection in their fiction.

Register for FREE here.

10 November, 5:00 am GMT

Marie Lu - Skyhunter

Marie Lu is the New York Times bestselling author of the Young Adult series Legend and The Young Elites.She joins us from LA to talk about her latest book, Skyhunter, an adrenaline-laced novel about the lengths one warrior will go to fight for freedom and those she loves. Secondary students and all lovers of YA fiction should not miss this chance to hear Marie talk about world-building, cinematic storytelling and writing unforgettable characters. Marie is joined by Daniel Elam, Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at the University of Hong Kong.

Register for FREE here.

11 November, 12:30 pm GMT

Telling Stories Across Boundaries

Don’t miss the chance to hear Colum McCann, National Book Award–winning and bestselling author of Let the Great World Spin, discuss his Booker Prize longlisted novel, Apeirogon, an epic novel of hope and reconciliation, rooted in the real-life friendship between two men united by loss. When McCann met two bereaved fathers, Palestinian Bassam Aramin and Israeli Rami Elhanan, on a trip with the non-profit organization Narrative 4, he was moved by their attempts to use their grief as a weapon of peace. With their blessing, McCann used their real-life stories to begin another—one that stitches together time, art, history, nature, and politics. This ambitious novel carries two fathers’ moving story at its heart, and their hope that if they could see themselves in one another, perhaps others can too. Colum McCann will be in conversation with Literary Editor of the Financial Times, Frederick Studemann.

Register here.

14 November, 3:30 am GMT

Sex and Vanity: Kevin Kwan in Conversation

Don’t miss the chance to catch author and creator of the bestselling phenomenon that is Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan discuss his latest novel, Sex and Vanity, with Tatler’s Generation T editor, Lee Williamson. Moving between Capri and the Hamptons, Lucie Churchill finds herself torn between two men: the WASPY fiancé of her family's dreams and George Zao, the man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with. This glittering tale is both a homage to A Room with a View and a modern love story and, as it is written by Kevin Kwan, it is also a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.

Register here.

15 November, 8:30 am GMT

Locating Crime Fiction

Vera and Shetland series author Ann Cleeves livestreams from Forum books in Northumberland to speak withJessica Valdez about her latest Vera novel, The Darkest Evening, which finds Vera in the wild Northumberland winter, driving home through the countryside during a swirling blizzard, and discovering a murder at her own ancestral home. Join them for a wide-ranging conversation about the Vera novels, the development of family history and the role environment plays in developing character, atmosphere and suspense in crime fiction.

Register here.

15 November, 4:00 am GMT

Workshop: Nury Vittachi - How to Get Published

This fun, practical session gives you the five key pieces of information you need to know to make it as an author. You’ll learn the secrets of a prolific full-time writer of a range of books, from novels to non-fiction to children’s books. The works of this session’s speaker Nury Vittachi have been issued by some of the world’s biggest publishers, including St Martin’s Press, Penguin Random House, Scholastic Books, John Wiley, and Oxford University Press. And he got his works published in multiple languages around the world all from a small flat in Hong Kong. No technical knowledge needed, but imagination and passion are a must!

Register here.

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