Xu Xi, Sara Baume, Glenn Diaz, moderated by Matt Byrne

Thursday, March 22, 6pm | 60 RMB – purchase link

To truly transport a reader, a setting must be so much more than a backdrop. How can writers impart a location with emotion and immerse readers in a vivid and memorable scene, one that speaks to the characters and drives the narrative? Three acclaimed novelists – Xu Xi (That Man in Our Lives), Sara Baume (Spill Simmer Falter Wither) and Glenn Diaz (The Quiet Ones) – will join the panel today to discuss the complex role of place in fiction and how they develop that sense in their own work.

Xu Xi is author of twelve books, most recently a memoir Dear Hong Kong: An Elegy for a City (Penguin, 2017), the novel That Man in Our Lives (C&R Press, 2016) Interruptions (Hong Kong Univ. Museum & Art Gallery/Columbia Univ. Press, 2016), a collaborative ekphrastic essay collection with photography by David Clarke. She is co-founder of Authors at Large and fiction editor at Tupelo Press in Massachusetts. In 2018, she was named Faculty Co-Director of a new, low-residency International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation at Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier.  An Indonesian-Chinese Hong Kong native and U.S. citizen, she currently lives between New York and Hong Kong. @xuxiwriter

Sara Baume’s debut novel, Spill Simmer Falter Wither, was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and is currently being translated into a dozen different languages. Her second novel, A Line Made by Walking, was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize in 2017. She is recipient of a literary fellowship from the Lannan Foundation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and lives on the south west coast of Ireland, where she works as a visual artist as well as a writer.

Glenn Diaz is the author of the The Quiet Ones (Ateneo Press), which won the Philippines’ Palanca Grand Prize for the Novel in 2017. At once a workplace novel and a meditation on history and globalization, The Quiet Ones is a grimly humorous take the soul-sapping, multi-billion-dollar call-centre industry. In interlocking narratives, it explores lives rendered mute by irate callers, scripted apologies, and life’s menial violence, but which manage to talk back every now and then, just as long as the Mute button is firmly pressed. A recipient of the M Literary Residency in Bangalore, India, his work has been published in the Philippines, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Australia, and the US. He teaches literature and creative writing at the Ateneo de Manila University. He lives in Manila.

Matthew Byrne has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University. He’s been reading poetry for many years in England and now China and has shared the stage with many renowned poets, including the English Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. He has published a poetry magazine called UNSUNG in his home city of Manchester and he is the founder of Spittoon, a successful Beijing poetry night held every month.

  • Tickets are available at The Bookworm and online via Yoopay.