Writing the City: Literary Landscapes of Hong Kong and London

In an increasingly shifting global landscape, literature in all its genres, from short stories to graphic novels, from fiction to poetry, has become one of the most imaginative components to break cultural barriers and to hear diverse, international voices from across the globe. In partnership with the British Council, Wasafiri – the UK's leading magazine for contemporary writing since 1984, will celebrate the launch of its annual special issue focus on Hong Kong writing in a panel discussion on 1 December 2017.


A panel discussion co-presented by Wasafiri and British Council

18.30-20.30 | Friday 1 December 2017
British Council
Room 307-308, 3/F, 3 Supreme Court Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Conducted in English
Shirley Geok-lin Lim, world-renowned writer of poetry, fiction, and criticism
Jeffrey Mather, Co-editor of the Wasafiri Hong Kong issue
Dorothy Tse, Hong Kong fiction writer
Denis Wong, Brooklyn/Hong Kong-based writer
Rukhsana Yasmin, Deputy Editor of Wasafiri

Free admission. Registration is required HERE

Launched in 1984, Wasafiri is quarterly magazine renowned for publishing some of the world’s most distinguished writers including Chinua Achebe, Kamau Brathwaite, Anita Desai, Gillian Slovo and Ben Okri amongst many others. Having pioneered a shift in the literary, cultural and critical landscape, the magazine draws widely across modern culture and the arts, publishing a lively and informed mix of fiction, poetry, interviews, essays and reviews. This year Wasafiri Autumn issue features Hong Kong as its annual country focus theme, exploring new critical and creative approaches that directly engage with Hong Kong’s geography, history, politics and poetics.

In the panel discussion chair by Professor Jeffrey Mather (co-editor of ‘Writing Hong Kong’ issue), the speakers will explore the diversity of language, form and genre leads to the question ‘What is the Hong Kong voice?’, and discuss the way in which political identities are expressed and formulated through their work in different narrative forms and explore issues relating to urban identity, globalisation and social inequality.

About the speakers

Shirley Geok-lin Lim

Shirley Geok-lin Lim’s Crossing the Peninsula received the Commonwealth Poetry Prize. She was awarded the Multiethnic Literatures of the United States Lifetime Achievement Award and University of California Santa Barbara Faculty Research Lecture Award. She has published: ten poetry collections three short story collections; two novels (Joss and Gold and Sister Swing); a children’s novel, Princess Shawl, translated into Chinese; and The Shirley Lim Collection. Her memoir, Among the White Moon Faces, received the American Book Award. She served as Chair Professor of English at University of Hong Kong, and Chair of Women’s Studies at The University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is a Research Professor. 

Jeffrey Mather

Jeffrey Mather is co-editor of the Wasafiri Hong Kong special issue. He completed his PhD in English at the University of Kent. He has worked at universities in Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong and is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of English at City University of Hong Kong. His research interests are in China/West literary representation and his work on topics to do with British and American travel writing, postcolonial literature, and modern and contemporary fiction have neem widely published in journals including, Neohelicon, Concentric: Literary and Cultural Studies and ARIEL: A Review of International English Literature. He lives in Hong Kong.

Dorothy Tse

Dorothy Tse is a Hong Kong fiction writer who has published three short story collections in Chinese. Her literary prizes include the Hong Kong Biennial Award for Chinese Literature and Taiwan’s Unitas New Fiction Writers’ Award. Tse’s first English short story collection, Snow and Shadow (translated by Nicky Harman), was longlisted for the 2015 Best Translated Book Award (The University of Rochester). Tse is also a co-founder of the Hong Kong literary magazine Fleurs de lettres. She currently teaches literature and writing at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Denis Wong

Denis Wong is a Brooklyn/Hong Kong-based writer. He has been a teacher, a science fiction & fantasy editor, and a laundry boy. His stories have been published in The Margins, Drunken Boat, Hyphen Magazine, and Gemini Magazine, among others.

Rukhsana Yasmin

Rukhsana Yasmin is Deputy Editor of Wasafiri – The Journal of International Contemporary Literature. She has over ten years of publishing experience, and has commissioned several books in the UK, including the International Man Booker shortlisted Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, which went on to win the Etisalat Prize for African Literature, In the Place of Justice by Wilbert Rideau which won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and the controversial Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, by Reza Aslan, which was a New York Times bestseller. She is winner of the 2012 Kim Scott Walwyn Prize for Women in Publishing, and in 2014 was named a Bookseller Rising Star.

About Wasafiri

Wasafiri is the UK’s leading magazine for international contemporary writing. Launched in 1984, it is renowned for publishing some of the world’s most distinguished writers, including Chinua Achebe, Kamau Brathwaite, Anita Desai, Sam Selvon, Nadine Gordimer, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Michael Ondaatje, Vikram Seth, Gillian Slovo and Ben Okri amongst many others. It remains wedded to its vision of inclusivity, publishing writing from all corners of the world.  Having pioneered a shift in the literary, cultural and critical landscape, the magazine draws widely across modern culture and the arts, publishing a lively and informed mix of fiction, poetry, interviews, essays and reviews. In today’s increasingly divided world, the magazine’s original mission to provoke cross-cultural dialogue and provide a space for the publication of distinctive new work from across the globe is ever more vital. Continuing to introduce readers to the best in international writing and committed to promoting the freshest talents, it opens spaces for reading and writing across borders, imagining diverse possibilities for belonging.


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