International Authors

The international authors participating in the 2016 Bookworm Literary Festival.

Author bios listed alphabetically by surname/pen name. Click on the portraits to go to the author’s standalone page, which comes with its unique permalink and details about the author’s events.

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A Yi

A Yi (real name Ai Guozhu) is “one of the most gifted Chinese authors in recent times,” according to Nobel-nominated poet Bei Dao. His star has been rising in the global literary scene as well: he’s been published in Granta and The Guardian, and A Perfect Crime, his first novel translated into English, was published in June 2015. He is the author of two other novels in Chinese, Now, What Shall I Do Next? and Where Is Spring, and the short story collections Grey Stories and The Bird Saw Me. Before settling down at age 32 to write fiction, A Yi worked as a police officer, secretary, and editor, with a brief stint as editor-in-chief of the edgy literary magazine Chutzpah.

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Diego Arboleda 2

Diego Arboleda is a children’s author famous in his native Spain as a storyteller and for his original narratives. He was born in Sweden in 1976 but grew up in Madrid, where he developed his passion for classical stories while working in one of the city’s premier bookshops. In 2014 he won the National Children’s and Young People’s Literature Award for Prohibido leer a Lewis Carroll (“Reading Lewis Carroll is Prohibited”), a book that received international acclaim and has since been published in China in Chinese. Arboleda’s latest book is Los descazadores de especies perdidas (“The Unhunters of Lost Species”).

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Ragnar Baldursson

Ragnar Baldursson is a diplomat and scholar of Chinese philosophy, and author of Nineteen Seventy-Six, a firsthand account of life in post-revolutionary China. Baldursson is the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Iceland in Beijing and has served in the Icelandic foreign ministry for more than 20 years. He was one of the first foreign students admitted to study at Peking University in the 1970s, where he gained a BA in Philosophy. He has translated the Analects of Confucius and the Daodejing into Icelandic.

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David Bandurski

David Bandurski is a researcher at the University of Hong Kong’s China Media Project and editor of the project’s website. He is the author of Dragons in Diamond Village, a book of reportage about urbanization in China (Penguin Random House, 2015), and co-author of Investigative Journalism in China, a book of eight cases on Chinese watchdog journalism. In addition to his work with China Media Project, Bandursky is a producer of Chinese independent films through his Hong Kong production company, Lantern Films. His most recent feature, Shadow Days, directed by Zhao Dayong, showed at the 2014 Hong Kong International Film Festival.

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Graeme Base

Graeme Base is one of the world’s leading creators of picture books. His alphabet book Animalia received international acclaim when it was first published in 1986, and has sold around three million copies worldwide, in addition to inspiring an animated TV series. Other books include The Eleventh Hour, My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch, The Sign of the Seahorse, The Waterhole, Jungle Drums, and Uno’s Garden. In 2007, Uno’s Garden featured in six major awards and was winner of three: Speech Pathology Book of the Year, younger readers; The Green Earth Book, USA; The Wilderness Society Environment Award. Graeme’s latest book is Eye to Eye.

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Bidisha

Bidisha is a British writer and BBC broadcaster specializing in human rights, international affairs, and the arts and culture. She does outreach work in UK prisons and detention centers and was recently an International Reporting Project 2013 Fellow, working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to raise awareness of global health and development issues. She is a trustee of the Booker Prize Foundation. Her most recent book, her fifth, is Asylum and Exile: Hidden Voices of London, following the 2012 publication of her internationally acclaimed Beyond the Wall: Writing a Path Through Palestine.

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Jon Bilbao (b. 1972 in Ribadesella, Spain) studied mining engineering and English literature. His first novel El hermano de las moscas (2008) was a revision of Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. In 2010 he published Padres, hijos y primates, available in English under the title Still the Same Man, which explores man’s deepest and darkest instincts. Shakespeare y la ballena blanca, published in 2013, is a reflection on the creative process that brings together William Shakespeare and Moby Dick in a historical tragedy. Bilbao’s short stories have been widely anthologized, and he has three short fiction collections.

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Richard Blanco official profile

Richard Blanco is the fifth inaugural poet in US history — the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and gay person to serve in such a role. Born in Madrid to Cuban-exiled parents and raised in Miami, the negotiation of cultural identity and place characterize his body of work. He is the author of the memoirs The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood and For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet’s Journey; the poetry chapbooks One Today and Boston Strong; and the poetry collections Looking for the Gulf Motel, Directions to the Beach of the Dead, and City of a Hundred Fires.

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Dionne Brand

Dionne Brand, who grew up in Trinidad, is a renowned Canadian poet, novelist, filmmaker, educator, and activist. Her latest novel is Love Enough. Her literary honors include the Griffin Poetry Prize (for Ossuaries), the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award, the Toronto Book Award (for What We Long For), and the 2006 Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing. She was Toronto’s third Poet Laureate from 2009-12; her poetry collections include Land to Light On, thirsty, and Inventory. Brand is also a prolific author of nonfiction on subjects of gender, race, identity, and the African diaspora.

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Alexandra Buchler USE THIS

Alexandra Büchler is director of Literature Across Frontiers. A translator and editor of numerous publications, she has worked as cultural manager for thirty years, and served on the board of the advocacy network Culture Action Europe and of the UK Translators’ Association. She is the editor of the New Voices from Europe and Beyond series of contemporary poetry anthologies from Arc Publications, UK. She has translated more than twenty-five books of fiction and poetry. Her translation of the Czech modern classic The House of a Thousand Floors by Jan Weiss is her most recent work.

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Javier Cercas thumbnailJavier Cercas (b. 1962 in Cáceres, Spain) is a writer and professor of Spanish literature at the University of Girona. He is the author of several books, using “historical memory” to focus on the Spanish Civil War and the Franco dictatorship. Among his works translated to English are Soldados de Salamina (Soldiers of Salamis), La velocidad de la luz (The Speed of Light), Anatomía de un instante (The Anatomy of a Moment), and Las leyes de la frontera (Outlaws). His latest, El impostor, tells the story of Enric Marco, a faked “hero” against Nazism and Franco. Cercas is also a frequent contributor to the Catalan edition of El país, and also translates English and Catalan literature into Spanish.

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Joy Chen resized

Joy Chen, formerly the deputy mayor of Los Angeles, is an internationally acclaimed Chinese American writer and media personality. She is the author of the China bestseller Do Not Marry Before Age 30, which debunks conventional wisdom that single women are “leftover” by their late 20s, and helps them unlock their potential and realize their dreams. Chen partners with top media companies to create movies, television shows, and viral videos to delight and entertain modern Chinese audiences. She currently has a movie in development with Wanda Media, and one with Alibaba Pictures. Additionally, she is working on her first novel.

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Frederic Ciriez thumbnail

Frédéric Ciriez (b. 1971) is a French writer, the author of two novels (Des néons sous la mer, 2008; Mélo, 2013), short stories, a scenario for a full-length feature film (La Loi de la jungle, Antonin Peretjatko), an essay on writer Raymond Roussel, and multiple reviews on French literary news. His novel Mélo was adapted into a play by scene producer David Bobée in 2015. Ciriez is an aficionado of the Sape movement — SAPE a French acronym for the “Society of Ambiance-makers and Elegant Persons” — which was born in the war-torn streets of Brazzaville and Kinshasa and emphasizes fashion, elegance, and the values of peace and nonviolence.

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Tim Clissold

Tim Clissold has lived and worked in China for more than twenty years. After graduating with degrees in physics and theoretical physics from Cambridge, and working in London, Australia, and Hong Kong, he moved to Beijing, where he eventually cofounded a private equity company that has invested more than $400 million. He is the author of the memoir Mr. China, which has been translated into twelve languages and was an Economist magazine Book of the Year, and most recently Chinese Rules: Mao’s Dog, Deng’s Cat, and Five Timeless Lessons from the Front Lines in China.

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Michael Crummey

Michael Crummey is an award-winning poet, novelist, and short story writer who was born in Buchans, a mining town in Newfoundland’s interior. His debut novel, River Thieves (2001), was a Canadian bestseller and won multiple awards. His latest novel, Sweetland, tells the story of one man’s battle to keep his Newfoundland home. Crummey’s poetry has been described as generous, genuine, rich, and warm, with some form of grace always present to redeem whatever hardships his characters endure. His works have appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies, including twice in the League of Canadian Poets’ annual contest anthology.

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Sergio del Molino (Madrid, 1979) is the author of the memoir The Violet Hour, a poignant account of the death of his son from a rare and aggressive form of infant leukemia. The book won the Premio Ojo Crítico de Narrativa 2013 and Premio Tigre Juan 2014. Del Molino has also published short stories, works of research, and a collection of nonfiction. He won the Premio de Literatura Joven del Gobierno de Aragón for fiction, and his first novel was chosen as one of the best ten books of 2012 by the Spanish Booksellers Association. He currently lives in Zaragoza, where he writes a Sunday column for Heraldo de Aragón.

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Agnès Desarthe (credit Dante Desarthe)

Agnès Desarthe is the author of more than 30 children’s books, nine novels, an essay on Virginia Woolf (with Geneviève Brisac), and a story on the dual portrait of her grandfather, education specialist Janusz Korczak. She is also an award-winning translator who has translated into French the works of Loïs Lowry, Anne Fine, Cynthia Ozick, Jay McInerney, and Woolf. She won the Livre Inter Prize in 1996 for her novel Un secret sans importance, the Marcel Pagnol and Virgin/version Femina prizes for Le remplaçant, and the Renaudot Prize for High-schoolers for The Foundling. Her latest book, Ce Coeur changeant, received the 2015 Le Monde Literary Prize.

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Robert Drewe thumbnail

Robert Drewe is one of Australia’s most prominent literary authors of fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. He has won many of Australian literature’s top prizes, and The Drowner made Australian literary history by winning the premier’s literary prize in every state. His books have also been adapted for the screen, theater, and radio, with Our Sunshine made into the film Ned Kelly, and The Shark Net and The Bodysurfers appearing on Australian and international television screens. Drewe has an honorary doctorate in literature from the University of Queensland, and an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Western Australia.

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Larry Feign

Larry Feign has been disappointing his mother since the age of 7, when he started writing stories and cartoons for his primary school magazine. Mom is not satisfied that his cartoons have appeared in such insignificant journals as Time, Newsweek, The Economist, Fortune, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Der Spiegel, and Pravda, to name a few, or that he’s produced animated cartoons for obscure little companies like Cartoon Network and Disney. She’s not happy that he’s published only 15 books or received a number of awards. All of this only postpones her goal of being able to utter the magic words: “My son the doctor.”

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Fernando Foglino

Fernando Foglino (b. 1976) is a poet and visual artist who lives and works in Montevideo, Uruguay. In 2004 he published the poetry collection Kate 500 Km, and in 2007 published Vodka. In 2009 he was awarded a scholarship to Berlin for “Clipoemas,” an audiovisual piece, and in 2011 he won second prize in the Grand Prix Paul Cezanne in Paris. In 2013 he published La máquina del Movimiento Contínuo and, the year after, the poetry collection Link. Since 2008, he has been exhibited at solo and group exhibitions in museums around the country and abroad.

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Ofir Touche Gafla

Ofir Touché Gafla was born in Israel. His bestselling first novel, The World of the End — about a man who commits suicide 18 months following the bizarre death of his wife, who then finds himself amongst strange characters in the even stranger world of the afterlife — won the 2005 Geffen Award for best fantasy/science fiction novel of the year and the 2006 Kugel Award for Hebrew literature. His later novels include The Cataract in the Mind’s Eye, Behind the Fog, and The Day the Music Died. He teaches creative writing in the Sam Spiegel School of TV and Cinema in Jerusalem.

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Zhiling Gao thumbnail

Zhiling Gao is an interpreter, literary translator, language teacher, broadcaster, and author. She has taught courses in Chinese language and culture at Melbourne University. Her short story “Mao’s Great Mangifera Parade” won the Victorian Writers Centre’s Grace Marion Wilson award. Gao is an Asialink writer-in-residence, hosted by The Bookworm in Beijing. She is currently working on a social memoir, A Bag of Power, set in her birthplace of Inner Mongolia, which explores the behavior of ordinary people under extraordinary circumstances through the eyes of a child of the time. She currently resides in Melbourne, Australia.

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Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay is the bestselling author of Bad Feminist, An Untamed State, Ayiti, and the forthcoming Hunger. She is a prolific writer of both fiction and nonfiction, tackling subjects ranging from gender, race, sexuality, education, class, and privilege to loneliness, body image, identity, and Scrabble. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Mystery Stories 2014, Best American Short Stories 2012, Best Sex Writing 2012, Time, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, Salon, and many others. She is currently co-editor of the literary magazine PANK.

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Jane Godwin thumbnail

Jane Godwin is the former Publisher for Young Readers at Penguin Books Australia. She is also a highly acclaimed author of many books for children, including the bestselling picture books Little Cat and the Big Red Bus, All Through the Year, Today We Have No Plans, Starting School, and, most recently, What Do You Wish For? (published with Anna Walker). Her many commendations include the Queensland Premier’s Award (Children’s Books), the Aurealis Award, and the Animal Welfare Award. Godwin’s most recent novels are Bear Make Den and Hattie Helps Out.

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Mark Greenwood thumbnail

Mark Greenwood is an author with a passion for history. His award-winning books, such as The Donkey of Gallipoli and Jandamarra, examine myths and legends, and have been published and honored internationally. He has twice received the West Australian Premier’s Award and the West Australian Young Readers’ Book Award. Greenwood often teams with his wife, illustrator Frané Lessac, to produce books that promote understanding of multicultural issues, such as Drummer Boy of John John, Magic Boomerang, Outback Adventure, and Our Big Island. Greenwood’s other books include The Mayflower and Midnight and the recent Boomerang and Bat.

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Sonthar Gyal

Sonthar Gyal is a renowned Tibetan cinematographer and artistic director, working with Tibetan filmmaker Pema Tseden on The Silent Holy Stones, The Search, and Old Dog. A graduate of the Beijing Film Academy, Gyal is also a prominent member of the first generation of Tibetan filmmakers. In 2011, his debut feature film, The Sun Beaten Path, competed at the Locarno Film Festival and won the Vancouver International Film Festival’s prestigious Dragons & Tigers Award for Young Cinema. River is his latest feature, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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Haiyun Jimeng

Haiyun Jimeng (laic names Chen, Ho Shan), born 1950 in Taiwan, is a thinker, speaker, religious leader, and scholar. In the early 1990s he quit his official post in Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and pledged to work in the “spiritual economy.” He established the Huayen Community of Taiwan to propagate Huayen studies, the most difficult and profound of Buddhist dharma. Haiyun is the author of many books, including the bilingual Our Only Choice: A New Vision for the Long-Term Survival of Humanity and the Earth, and holds several posts, including head of the Huayen Research Institute at Shaanxi Normal Univ. and guest professor at Lanzhou Univ.

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Carly Hallman thumbnail

Carly J. Hallman is author of the novel Year of the Goose, which has won praise as a “scathing satire of tycoon culture and political corruption, set in present-day China” (Publishers Weekly) and “more excitingly implausible than the real-world originals and also much more entertaining… an absurdist comedy with some sharp and serious social observations” (James Fallows, The Atlantic). Hallman has a degree in English writing and rhetoric from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, and has a forthcoming Kindle Single about growing up in a Walmart. She lives in Beijing.

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Han Song

Han Song is one of China’s best-known and most prolific authors of science fiction. He has written the novels Let’s Go Look for Aliens, about UFO-spotters in China, Manmade Man, a novel about clones, and Subway. He is a multiple recipient of the “Milky Way” prize, China’s highest profile sci-fi prize, and is regularly cited as an influence by younger writers. Han is also a journalist at Xinhua, China’s state-owned news service. It becomes clear, reading his writing, that science fiction is merely a slightly warped mirror with which to reflect modern Chinese society. Bio adapted from Paper Republic.

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Han Yujoo

Han Yujoo is a writer and translator born in Seoul in 1982. She has published five books and translated Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table and Geoff Dyer’s But Beautiful and The Ongoing Moment into Korean. She was awarded the Literature and Society’s New Writers Award for her short story “To the Moon” in 2003 and the prestigious Hankook Ilbo Literary Award in 2009. Han currently teaches and runs the independent press Oulipopress. Her most recent book is the novel The Impossible Fairytale (2013).

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Ray Hecht 1

Ray Hecht, born in the 1980s in Israel, grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, before moving to Long Beach, California, and then to China in 2008. He is the author of the recently published South China Morning Blues, his first novel, about a set of idiosyncratic expats trying to make sense of the modern China in which they reside. Hecht has spent time all over the Pearl River Delta zone, from Shenzhen to Guangzhou to Hong Kong. He found his passion as an observer of contemporary Chinese culture, and wrote and edited for Shenzhen Daily – the only daily English-language newspaper in Guangdong province – along with other freelance projects.

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Nico Helminger

Nico Helminger (b. 1953) is a novelist, playwright, and poet from Luxembourg who has studied and worked in Berlin, Vienna, Paris, etc. Among his many prizes is the most important culture award in Luxembourg, the Prix Batty Weber, which he won in 2008. He writes poetry, prose, drama, radio plays, and libretti in Luxembourgish and German. Among his recent works are “zu schwankender zeit und an schwankendem ort” (in volatile times and in a volatile place, 2012), the novel “lëtzebuerger léiwen” (Luxembourgian Lions, 2013), the poetry collection “abrasch” (2013), and the novel Autopsy (2014).

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David Hill thumbnail

David Hill is a multiple-award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction books for children and adults, including the Esther Glen Medal (NZ) for Fat-Four-Eyed and Useless and Right Where it Hurts. He won a Notable Children’s Book Award in the US for See Ya, Simon, which also was awarded the NES Times Educational Award in the UK and the Silver Feather Award in Germany. Coming Back won two awards in France, and most recently, My Brother’s War was honored several times. Hill has been writing full time since 1983, and his books have been translated into French, German, Danish, Dutch, Chinese, Slovenian, Japanese, and Korean.

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Keiichiro Hirano

Keiichiro Hirano is an internationally acclaimed Japanese novelist born in Aichi prefecture in 1975 and raised in Kita-kyushu. His first novel, The Eclipse, won the Akutagawa Prize in 1999, making him one of the youngest winners ever at 23 years old. He has since published several other novels, including Funeral, Ripples the Dripping Clocks Make, Dawn, and The Only Form of Love. His most recent works are the novel Transparent Maze and a book of essays and interviews Where Vitality is Headed: The Changing World and Dividualism. He is a graduate of Kyoto University’s law department.

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Tammy Ho-Lai Ming 1

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a poet, short story writer, translator, and founding editor of the literary journal Asian Cha, the first online literary journal based in Hong Kong. Her story “Let Her Go” won Third Prize in The Standard-RTHK Short Story Competition 2005, and her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times and the Forward Prize. She is the author of Hula Hooping, a collection of poetry, and the forthcoming short story collection Her Name Upon the Strand. She is currently an assistant professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, where she teaches fiction, poetry and poetics, and modern drama.

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Ken Hom

Ken Hom is an American-born celebrity chef, TV presenter, and author of more than 80 books, many of which have been translated worldwide. He has spent more than three decades on UK television, and is acknowledged as a leading expert on Asian and Chinese cuisine, and has cooked for presidents, prime ministers, celebrities, and royalty across the world. In 2012 he spent more than five weeks filming his TV series Exploring China: A Culinary Adventure. In 2009 he was appointed honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for “services to culinary arts.”

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Matt Hulse

Matt Hulse is an artist, filmmaker, and writer. His films have been screened in more than two dozen countries, and his work features in Time Out’s 1000 Films to Change Your Life and A History of Experimental Film & Video, and is represented by the National Media Museum (UK), National Library of Scotland, Gallaudet University (Washington DC), and The Wallace Library (Rochester Institute of Technology). He has twice been nominated for the Jarman Award and the Margaret Tait Award. His films include Follow The Master, Dummy Jim (for which he produced a book, I Cycled Into the Arctic Circle), and, most recently, The Hippies: Punk Rocked My Cradle.

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Lieve JorisLieve Joris is one of Europe’s leading nonfiction writers, with award-winning books on Hungary, the Middle East, and Africa. In 1985 she set sail to the former Belgian colony of Congo, where her great-uncle had been a missionary. Congo became a recurring theme in her work, leading successively to Back to the Congo, The Leopard’s Dance, The Rebels’ Hour, and The High Plains. Her most recent book, On The Wings of The Dragon, is about her journeys between Africa and China, written after she submerged herself in the world of Africans and Chinese who ventured into each other’s territory. Joris was born in Belgium and currently lives in Amsterdam.

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Arthur Kroeber

Arthur R. Kroeber is head of research at Gavekal, a financial-services firm based in Hong Kong, founder of the China-focused Gavekal Dragonomics research service, and editor of China Economic Quarterly. He divides his time between Beijing and New York. Before founding Dragonomics in 2002, he spent fifteen years as a financial and economic journalist in China and South Asia. He is a senior non-resident fellow of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center, an adjunct professor at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and a member of the National Committee on US-China Relations. His book China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know is published by Oxford University Press in April 2016.

Josh Lacey

Josh Lacey is the author of the Grk and Dragonsitter series of children’s books; A Dog Called Grk was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award, while The Dragonsitter was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. He has written many other books for children, including The Island of Thieves, The Sultan’s Tigers, and Bearkeeper. He reguarly visits schools, where he enjoys talking about the writing experience, the origin of ideas, and magic of inspiration. Lacey has also written one book for adults, God is Brazilian, a biography of the man who introduced football to Brazil. He lives in London with his wife and daughters.

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Yves Laplace is a well-known novelist, playwright, and essayist in the French-speaking literary circle. He has published fifteen literary works. His latest novel, Hero’s Prairie, was inspired by George Oltramare, a Swiss actor, writer, and politician who was sentenced to death in France in 1950 due to his role in the fascist movement. Laplace won the Alice Rivaz Prize in 2015 and the Swiss Literary Prize in 2016 for this book. Laplace’s dramatic work includes Sarcasm (adapted from The Model Man), and many of his plays been presented in Paris and Geneva. He is also a literary and dramatic critic, a teacher, and referee for amateur football matches.

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Hyeonseo Lee

Hyeonseo Lee is a North Korean defector living in Seoul. Her memoir, The Girl With Seven Names, has been published in more than 20 countries “I’m telling them about the girl who grew up believing her nation to be the greatest on earth, and who witnessed her first public execution at the age of seven,” Lee writes. Over 5 million people have viewed her TED Talk about her life in North Korea, her escape to China, and struggle to bring her family to freedom. Lee has given testimony about North Korean human rights in front of a special panel of the UN Security Council, and has discussed issues with important leaders such as UN Ambassador Samantha Powers.

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David Leffman

David Leffman was born and raised in the UK, spent twenty years in Australia, then relocated back to Britain in 2009. Since 1992 he has authored and co-authored guides to Australia, China, Indonesia, Iceland, and Hong Kong for Rough Guides, Dorling Kindersley, and others, ghost-written a Chinese cookbook, and contributed articles for various publications on subjects ranging from crime to martial arts and history. If he had spare time he’d go scuba diving.

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Frané Lessac has published more than 40 children’s books throughout the world, many of them inspired by her love of travel. In 2010 she was presented the Muriel Barwell Award for Distinguished Service to Children’s Literature. Her contribution to Amnesty International’s We Are All Born Free, celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, has been translated into more than 30 languages and is the receipt of a USBBY Outstanding International Book.

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Liang Zi

Liang Zi is a photographer and author who Time Out featured as one of the 40 most influential Chinese people in its 40th anniversary issue. She has made a dozen solo trips to Africa in the past 15 years, and is recognized as the first female photographer from China to explore African tribal culture. Additionally, she has traveled to the likes of Iran, India, Laos, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Australia, and New Zealand to take photos and film documentaries. Of her many books, her autobiography An Opened Diary was published in 1999, the same year she held an exhibit of her work at the Japan-China Friendship Center in Tokyo. Liang is currently a member of the Chinese Photographers Association, director of the Chinese Female Directors of Documentary Association, and director of the China Adventure Association.

Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli is the author of the internationally acclaimed novel Faces in the Crowd (2012), which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction, and The Story of My Teeth (2015), and the collection of essays Sidewalks (2014). She is a rising literay star whose work has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Granta, and McSweeney’s. In 2014 she won the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 award. Born in Mexico City in 1983, she grew up in South Africa.

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Paris / MartOwen Martell grew up in Pontneddfechan, South Wales. After studying at Aberystwyth and Oxford universities, he spent a number of years working as a reporter with the BBC. His first Welsh-language novel, Cadw dy ffydd, brawd (Strong and Prophetic), won the Arts Council of Wales’ Welsh Book of the Year award in 2001. His second novel, Dyn yr Eiliad (The Other Man), was shortlisted for the same prize in 2004. Dolenni Hud (Welsh Knot) is a collection of short stories in collaboration with photographer Simon Proffitt. His most recent novel, Intermission, is his first book written in English; it has been translated into French and German.

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Eimear McBride

Eimear McBride is a Liverpool-born Irish writer who shot to fame with her debut novel, A Girl is a Half-formed Thing, which won the Goldsmiths Prize and Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. The book, which took her nine years to get published, tells the intimate, powerful story of a young girl’s relationship to her cancer-stricken brother as they each navigate devastating childhoods. The New Yorker called it a “blazingly original novel… fueled by fractured, adventurous language and raw emotion.” McBride currently lives in Norwich, where she is working on a second novel.

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Andy McGuire

Andy McGuire is from Grand Bend and currently resides in Toronto. He is pursuing an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph. McGuire’s poems have appeared in Riddle Fence, Hazlitt, and The Walrus. He presents his debut poetry collection, Country Club. A lyrical wilderness of power, wealth, leisure, and desire, the poems of Country Club freewheel across state lines with panache and flagrant feeling. In this bold collection, all passions — even unpleasant ones — stare down the barrel of a world in which freedom is the 51st state, and love is the 11th province.

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Michela Murgia

Michela Murgia was born in Cabras, Italy in 1972. She attended theological studies and worked as a religion teacher, as well as for the nonpolitical lay organization Azione Cattolica, before making her literary debut in 2006 with Il mondo deve sapere, which inspired the film Tutta la vita davanti by Paolo Virzi. She is also author of Viaggio in Sardegna, the novel Accabadora (winner of the 2010 Campiello Award), Ave Mary, and L’incontro. She has been an honorary member of the Coordination of Italian Female Theologians since 2011, and collaborates with many magazines and newspapers. Her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

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Mariko Nagai 2

Mariko Nagai is a poet and author born in Tokyo and raised in Europe and America. She has received the Pushcart Prize in both poetry and fiction. Her collection of poems, Histories of Bodies, won the Benjamin Saltman Prize from Red Hen Press, and her first collection of stories, Georgic: Stories, won the 2009 G.S. Sharat Chandra Fiction Prize from BkMk Press. Her other books include the poetry collection Instructions for the Living and novel Dust of Eden, and the forthcoming Irradiated Cities, which won the 2015 Les Figues Press NOS Book Contest. She is an Associate Professor of creative writing and Japanese literature at Temple University, and also serves as Co-Regional Advisor of SCBWI Japan.

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Mindaugas Nastaravicius is a Lithuanian poet and playwright. His poetry collection Stained Eyes received the Zigmas Gele prize for best literary debut. In 2014 he published his second poetry collection, Mo, which was selected one of the “top five poetry books of the year” and listed as one of the “twelve most creative books of the year” by the Institute of Lithuanian Literature and Folklore. He has worked with four Lithuanian theaters to stage four of his plays: The Dormitory of Poultry, The Other School, Democracy, and Your Suit Does Not Fit Me. In 2015, Nastaravicius was awarded the Golden Stage Cross, the most prestigious Lithuanian theater prize.

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Jason Y Ng

Jason Y. Ng, born in Hong Kong, is a globetrotter who spent his adult life in Italy, the United States, and Canada before settling in his birthplace to rediscover his roots. He is the author of the recently published Umbrellas in Bloom, the first English-language book to chronicle the pro-democracy political movement that took Hong Kong by storm in the fall of 2014. Ng is also the bestselling author of HONG KONG State of Mind and No City for Slow Men, and his short stories have appeared in various anthologies. His social commentary blog As I See It and leisure review site The Real Deal have attracted a cult following.

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Kabu Okai-Davies thumbnail

Kabu Okai-Davies is an Australian writer from Ghana. He is the author of two poetry collections, The Long Road to Africa and Symphony of Words, and two collections of short stories. He recently published Curfew’s Children, a childhood memoir set in Ghana, and completed a novel, In Another Man’s Name, set in Newark, New Jersey. Okai-Davies is the founder of African Globe TheatreWorks in Newark, where he was a producer from 1992-2005. He has been a Playwright-In-Residence at the Street Theatre in Canberra and producer at the National Multicultural Festival, and currently manages the Theo Notaras Multicultural Centre.

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Mark O'Neill

Mark O’Neill is a Hong Kong-based journalist whose latest book, The Miraculous History of China’s Two Palace Museums, is about China’s two most famous museums, located in Beijing (Palace Museum, in the Forbidden City) and Taipei (National Palace Museum). He “details the treacherous history of how some of China’s most precious artifacts were rescued from the invading Japanese imperial army in the 1930s and later transported to Taiwan, and the powerful symbolism of the museums,” according to the Wall Street Journal. O’Neill, who reported in Asia since 1978, is the author of four other books.

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Edward Platt

Edward Platt is a writer and journalist. He is the author of Leadville: A Biography of the A40, which won a Somerset Maugham Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was short-listed for two other awards, and The City of Abraham, about the city of Hebron, where Israelis and Palestinians live side-by-side. His latest book, The Great Flood: Journeys through a Sodden Landscape, will be published next year. He is a Contributing Writer at the New Statesman and a regular contributor to other newspapers and magazines. In 2009, he was shortlisted for an Amnesty Media Award for his reporting from the Middle East.

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Jordi Punti 1

Jordi Puntí was born in 1967 and lives in Barcelona. He writes in Catalan and has published two books of short stories: Pell d’armadillo (Armadillo Skin) (1998) and Animals tristos (Sad Animals) (2002). In 2010 he published his first novel, Maletes perdudes (Lost Luggage), which received the National Critics’ Award, El Llibreter Award (booksellers prize), and the prestigious Lletra d’Or, and has been translated into 16 languages. His most recent book is Els castellans (2011), a memoir about the daily life in a Catalan industrial town in the 1970s, focusing on the relationship between Catalan kids and the immigrants arrived from Spain.

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Qiu Xiaolong thumbnail

Qiu Xiaolong was born in Shanghai. He is the author of the award-winning Inspector Chen series of mystery novels, Death of a Red Heroine (2000), A Loyal Character Dancer (2002), When Red is Black (2004), A Case of Two Cities (2006), Red Mandarin Dress (2007), and The Mao Case (2009). He is also the author of two books of poetry translations, Treasury of Chinese Love Poems (2003) and Evoking T’ang (2007), and his own poetry collection, Lines Around China (2003). Qiu’s books have sold over a million copies and have been published in twenty languages. He currently lives in St. Louis with his wife and daughter.

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Undine Radzeviciute

Undinė Radzevičiūtė (b. 1967) graduated from the Vilnius Academy of Arts, where she studied art history, theory, and criticism. She worked for ten years as a creative director for international advertising agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett. Her first short novel was published in 2003. Fishes and Dragons, her fourth and biggest book so far, won the European Union Literature Prize 2015. Two of her earlier novels have been translated into Russian, and one into Estonian.

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Jess Row

Jess Row is the author of two short story collections — The Train to Lo Wu and Nobody Ever Gets Lost — and the novel Your Face in Mine. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Tin House, Ploughshares, Granta, American Short Fiction, Harvard Review, etc., have been anthologized three times in The Best American Short Stories, and have won two Pushcart Prizes and a PEN/O. Henry Award, among other prizes. In 2007 he was named a “Best Young American Novelist” by Granta. He is currently teaching at The College of New Jersey and is a faculty member of the MFA program at the City University of Hong Kong.

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Andrzej Sapkowski headshot

Andrzej Sapkowski (b. 1948) is a fantasy writer who is one of the five bestselling authors in Poland today. His stories reach beyond the conventional patterns of fantasy, featuring nontraditional plots that shuffle problems and conventions, and play together with his reader. He has two story collections, The Last Wish (which inspired The Witcher video game series) and The Sword of Destiny. His stories about Hexer Geralt – the intrepid tamer of ogres – abound in breathtaking adventures, humor, magic, passionate love, intricate enigmas of fate, and postmodern mockery of the contemporary life. Sapkowski has been translated into nine languages.

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Lambert Schlechter (b. 1941) has published some 25 books. His work includes poetry, novels, short stories, and essays. Since 2006 he has worked on a prose project titled “Le Murmure du monde,” a collection of literary, philosophical, and autobiographical fragments. Schlechter studied philosophy and literature in Paris and Nancy before teaching philosophy, French language, and literature at the Lycée Classique in Echternach. He was vice president of the Luxembourg section of Amnesty International, Luxembourg, and representative in the International Service for Human Rights in Geneva.

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Anakana Schofield USE THISAnakana Schofield is an Irish-Canadian writer whose debut novel, Malarky, won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the 2013 Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. It was named on 16 Best Books of 2012 lists and was selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Pick. She has also written literary criticism for many newspapers, including The Guardian, The Irish Times, The Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the London Review of Books blog. Her second novel, Martin John, was shortlisted for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

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Michael Schuman thumbnail

Michael Schuman is an American author and journalist who specializes in global economics and Asian politics and history. He has been a correspondent for TIME Magazine and The Wall Street Journal, and won an Overseas Press Club award as part of the team covering the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis for WSJ. His first book, The Miracle: The Epic Story of Asia’s Quest for Wealth, is an historical narrative of Asia’s transformation. His most recent book is Confucius and the World He Created, about the great philosopher’s influence in China’s economic rise, which made NPR’s list of favorite international reads.

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Shaung Xuetao thumbnail

Shuang Xuetao (b. 1983, Shenyang) is a fiction writer whose stories appear in Shouhuo, Shiyue, Shanghai Literature, China Times: Renjianfukan, and many more. He won first prize in the inaugural Huawenshijie Prize for Film and Fiction, first prize at the 14th Taipei Literature Awards, and at the 5th Xinrui Awards by Xihu Magazine.

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Steve Simeone

Steve Simeone developed his unique high-energy approach to storytelling by competing for laughs with his two brothers around the family dinner table. His positive, family-friendly approach to comedy has delighted audiences around the world and made him a regular at Hollywood’s most prestigious comedy clubs. In 2014 he made his Comedy Central debut on Gabriel Iglesias’ Stand Up Revolution, was chosen by Honda to represent their Summer “Cheerance” Campaign, and saw his first album, Remember This, hit the top of the Billboard and iTunes charts. Simeone recently shot a pilot for TruTV and will return to Comedy Central on Ari Shaffir’s This Is Not Happening storytelling show.

Scot Slaby

Scot Slaby is a poet, author, and educator who teaches at Shanghai American School. His first chapbook, The Cards We’ve Drawn, won the 2013 Bright Hill Press National At Hand Chapbook Competition, and his second work, Bugs Us All, is a collaboration with artist Walter Gurbo, forthcoming in Summer 2016 from Entasis Press in Washington, D.C.  His poems have appeared most recently in Arcana: The Tarot Poetry AnthologyThe Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics Including Odd and Invented FormsUnsplendid, and elsewhere in print and online. 

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Anna Smaill 2

Anna Smaill was born in Auckland in 1979. A classically trained violinist, she changed her pursuit to creative writing while in college. Her first book, The Violinist in Spring, is a collection of poetry published that was listed as one of 2006’s best books by the New Zealand Listener. Her debut novel, The Chimes — set in a dystopian London in which people cannot form new memories and the written word has been forbidden and destroyed — was longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. She currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand, and supervises MA students in Creative Writing for the International Institute of Modern Letters.

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Kai Strittmatter

Kai Strittmatter is the author of several books on China, Hong Kong, and Istanbul, and is currently working on a new one about China loosely centered around the hutong where he lives with his family. After studying sinology in Munich, Xi’an, and Taipei, Strittmatter joined Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung in 1994. From 1997 on he worked for eight years as China correspondent of Süddeutsche. Those years were followed by a seven-year stint as a correspondent in Istanbul, reporting on the changes in Turkey and Greece. In the summer of 2012 he returned to Beijing. His English-language book is China: An Introduction to the Culture and People.

Tang Sulan

Tang Sulan is a writer, editor, and professor at Hunan Normal University. She is a member of the Chinese Writers Association and Vice Chairman of the Association of Hunan Province. Tang has written more than 40 children’s books and won several awards, including the National Children’s Literature Award, Song Qingling Children’s Literature Award, and Chen Bocui Prize for Children’s Literature. Her popular titles include Stories of the Foolish Wolf, The Pretty Witch, and Miracle Garden.

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Nury Vittachi

Nury Vittachi is a Hong Kong-based journalist and author known for the comedy-crime novel series The Feng Shui Detective, which has been translated into multiple languages and published worldwide. He’s a man of many talents, beloved by children (for his Jeri Telstar and Magic Mirror series of books) and respected by adults for his outspokenness. In addition to writing fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, he was a founding editor of the Asia Literary Review, co-founder of the Hong Kong International Literary Festival, key figure in the creation of the Man Asian Literary Prize, and chair of the judges of the inaugural Australia-Asia Literary Award in 2008.

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Nora Wagener, born 1989, is a fresh voice in the Luxembourgian literary scene. She studied creative writing and arts journalism in Hildesheim, Germany. Her first novel, Menschenliebe und Vogel (literally, Love for Humanity and Bird, Hoot), won the Prix Arts et Lettres from the Institut grand-ducal Luxemburg. This past year saw the publication of her second book, E. Galaxien, and the theatrical debut of her play Visions. Wagener regularly participates in lectures within cultural institutions, fairs, and schools in Luxembourg and abroad. She is a member of the theater collective Independent Little Lies and co-organizer of the lecture series Impossible Readings.

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Ian Whybrow 2

Ian Whybrow has written more than 100 children’s books since his first, The Sniff Stories, was published in 1989. They have been translated into nearly 30 languages and have won awards in multiple countries. Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs was adapted into a 104-episode animated series, and Little Wolf’s Book of Badness was adapted into an award-winning movie and a play. For all his accomplishments as a children’s writer, Whybrow actually began his writing career as a poet — he is the recipient of the Leeds Poetry Prize. Engaging and easygoing, Whybrow was born in Gillingham, Kent, England, and grew up in Margate in East Kent and Hong Kong.

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Photo by Chris Peken

Philip Wilcox, the current Australian Poetry Slam National Champion and two-time NSW Poetry Slam Champion, is an award-winning poet who hosts and co-organizes Three Poets Speak, a Sydney showcase of the finest spoken word artists from around Australia. He has featured in major events such as the Sydney Writers Festival, Wollongong Writers Festival, and Newtown Festival, where he performed for a crowd of more than 8,000. He recently headlined the Melbourne event Voices in the Attic. He is also a playwright, having co-written and directed Thursday, one of the most successful productions of the 2013 Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival.

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Nicholas YB Wong

Nicholas YB Wong (MFA, the City University of Hong Kong) is the author of the poetry collections Cities of Sameness and, most recently, Crevasse, which has been praised as “a book of action” (Jericho Brown) and “deft and radically inventive… blows a hole right through our expectation of what contemporary poetry is supposed to look and to sound like” (Ravi Shankar). Wong was a finalist for the New Letters Poetry Award and a semifinalist for the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize. He is on the editorial board of the literary journals Drunken Boat and Mead: Magazine of Literature and Libations. Corgis are his favorite human breed.

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Clare Wright USE THIS ONE

Clare Wright is an historian who has worked as a political speechwriter, university lecturer, historical consultant, and radio and television broadcaster. Her first book, Beyond the Ladies Lounge: Australia’s Female Publicans, garnered both critical and popular acclaim. Her groundbreaking second book, The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka, which took ten years to research and write, won the 2014 Stella Prize and has recently been published in a YA edition, We are the Rebels. Clare researched, wrote, and presented the ABC television documentaries Utopia Girls and The War that Changed Us.

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Mar 04, 2009 Xinran is a Chinese author. Her book is The Good women of China. FYI she has one painted fingernail .. not sure of significance ..if any. Toronto Star/Michael Stuparyk

Xinran (pen name for Xue Xinran) is a British-Chinese journalist, author, and advocate of women’s issues. Her first book, The Good Women of China, was an international bestseller upon publication in 2002. She followed up with Sky Burial, a true account of a Han woman’s journey through Tibet, and Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother: Stories of Loss and Love. Her latest is Buy Me the Sky: The Remarkable Truth of China’s One-Child Generations. Between 1989 and 1997 Xinran was the popular host of a call-in radio program in China called “Words on the Night Breeze.” She is also founder of The Mother’s Bridge of Love, which reaches out to adopted Chinese children around the world.

Yang Li thumbnailYang Li, a Sichuan-born poet, is considered one of the most prominent members of China’s avant-garde poetry movement. In the 1980s he was one of the founding members of the hugely influential “Fei Fei” poetry project, often translated as the “ Not-Not” movement. Yang has run a few independent poetry magazines, including Fei Fei until the mid-90s, and is currently editor-in-chief of Erasers, an independent yearly literary magazine. He also writes novels, short stories, and essays. Among his print publications is Canlan (trans. Splendor), a 623-page tell-all chronicle of the avant-garde poetry scene in China during the closing decades of the last century.

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Yi Sha

Yi Sha (real name Wu Wenjian) is one of the most influential poets in China, having been described as the Chinese Allen Ginsberg and “the greatest avant-garde in China.” He has produced more than twenty collections of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, including the well-known poetry collections Starve The Poet! (available in English), The Train Crosses the Yellow River, Corner of the World, and Ecstasy. In addition, he and his wife have co-translated more than eighty foreign poets into Chinese. Born in Chengdu in 1966, Yi Sha attended university in Beijing and now teaches in the Chinese Department of Xi’an Foreign Languages University.

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Lijia Zhang

Lijia Zhang is a factory-worker-turned writer, journalist, social commentator, and speaker. Her articles have appeared in many publications, including The GuardianNewsweek, and The New York Times. She is the co-author of China Remembers, an oral history of the People’s Republic of China. Her critically acclaimed memoir Socialism Is Great!, about her decade-long factory experience, has been translated into numerous languages. Her first novel Lotus, about prostitution in contemporary China, will be published next year. She lives in Beijing with her two daughters.

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Raymond Zhou

Raymond Zhou is a film, theater, and culture critic who the Los Angeles Times calls “China’s most famous film critic” and “Beijing’s answer to Roger Ebert.” He is the author of nineteen books, including his Chinese-language book Hollywood Revealed, the first study in China of the mechanisms of America’s movie industry, and A Practical Guide to Chinese Cinema 2002-2012, the first English-language book on China’s film industry of the new century. Zhou’s column for Movie View, the country’s highest circulated film magazine, is the longest-running film column in the country. Zhou is also senior writer for China Daily, where he pens the X-Ray column.