“You’re stepping on my shadow, please back off,” she said.

Sun Yisheng / Nicky Harman

Beijing International Book Fair: Literary Salons

By Eric Abrahamsen, published

The Beijing International Book Fair, which takes place annually at the end of August, has always been primarily a publishing event – domestic and international publishing houses trading their wares. This year, with the help of Paper Republic, the BIBF is growing an additional limb: the Literary Salons, a small, reader-focused literary festival taking place alongside the publishing event.

Between August 22nd and 30th, Chinese and international writers will appear in more than a dozen literary events within Beijing, most taking place at the One Way Street Space.

We'll be announcing a full schedule in the next week or so, but expect to see Enrique Vila-Matas in conversation with Ge Fei, Alan Lee discussing his illustrations for The Lord of the Rings, Feng Tang reading poetry, and much more. Stay tuned!

Comments

# 1.   

For several years running, I've alerted Paper Republicans and readers of my blog, Ethnic ChinaLit, to events featuring Chinese writers held on the sidelines of several major book fairs.

I've noticed a number of issues with the way these events are promoted online. Thus a few suggestions:

Interpreting: Be sure to clarify if an event will be fully bilingual.

Reservation/entry fee: Be sure to clarify if attendees must reserve a place, how to do so online, and if there will be an entrance fee.

Venues: Provide the full address and subway stop, etc., in both Chinese and English.

Who's who: Provide solid background info on all participants or links for more info.

Truly useful guide: There will likely be three types of "author-driven" events in Beijing -- at the fair itself (book signings, etc.), off-site events with various sponsors, and now, Literary Salons co-sponsored by BIBF and Paper Republic. What fair-goers really need is a one-stop guide that lists as many of all three types as possible. This allows attendees to plan ahead, and it also allows international media to publicize in advance.

I'd suggest the creation of a table of some sort that can be updated often -- even daily -- as the opening date of the exhibition approaches. That's necessary because BIBF is notorious for announcing these events literally 24 hours before they happen, or early in Chinese and very, very late in English . . .

Good examples to follow are schedules in 2013-15 published in advance by the Hong Kong Book Fair, Taipei International Book Exhibition and the London Book Fair, in particular. The latter is even searchable, as I recall.

Bruce Humes, August 5, 2015, 5:14a.m.

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