Xu Zechen 徐则臣
Xu Zechen graduated from Beijing University with a master's degree. He is an editor at People's Literature, China’s longest running literary magazine. Despite this pedigree, Xu's fiction is focused primarily on China's less fortunate social classes. Born in the countryside of Jiangsu he moved to the city to attend university, and his focus on migrant workers, people living on the boundaries of China’s new, sprawling urban landscape comes from a sense of connection with these struggling people with the same rural background as himself. Much of his writing is based on the true stories of migrants.
His written language tends to be direct and proletarian like his subjects, with a narrative voice that frequently adheres very closely to those of his characters. He has a spare, realist style which has won him acclaim and awards, but which also lends some wry humour to the struggles of his protagonists.
Recently published titles
- The Gate of Midnight / 午夜之门
- Heaven and Earth / 天上人间
- Night Train / 夜火车
Annie Baobei (Annie Baby, 安妮宝贝)
Having worked for IT companies, advertising agencies and publishers, Annie Baobei began publishing short stories online in 1998, when she was twenty-four, becoming one of China’s first internet literary sensations. Within a medium best understood by adolescent and twenty-something urbanites like herself, she wrote about them and their lives—their worries, loneliness and disorientation in particular.
Annie Baobei quickly became a household name among the Chinese youth and her first printed book, the short story collection Goodbye Vivien, sold half a million copies. She has been a commercial success ever since, with her latest novel Lotus topping the domestic bestseller lists for months.
She writes in a broken, ultra-simplified, seemingly distracted style that has become characteristic of online prose worldwide. Her narratives tend to explore the relationships between interior spirituality and exterior reality, and she has begun to incorporate other art forms combining photography and music with her prose.
Recently published titles
- Goodbye Vivien / 告别薇安
- August is Passing / 八月未央
- Lotus / k彼岸花
The event will be faciliated by Alan Bissett, Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Writer of the Year 2011. He has written four highly acclaimed novels alongside his other work in theatre, film and television. His work has been shortlisted for the Scottish Arts Council Fiction of the Year prize and a Scottish BAFTA, and nominated for Best New Play at the 2010 Critics Awards For Theatre in Scotland. He has lectured in Creative Writing at both Leeds and Glasgow Universities.
Alan has only recently returned from a short residence at the Bookworm Festival in Beijing.
Further information on Alan Bissett can be found on his website: