Alec Ash, Karoline Kan
moderated by Ian Johnson

Saturday, March 10, 2 pm | 60 RMB – purchase link

This is the generation that will change China. The youth, over 320 million of them in their teens and twenties, more than the population of the USA. Born after Mao, with no memory of Tiananmen, they are destined to transform both their nation and the world. But these millennials, offspring of the one-child policy, face fierce competition to succeed. Pressure starts young, and their road isn’t easy. Alec Ash, author of Wish Lanterns, and Karoline Kan, who is writing a book on the topic of the youth in China, will consider the opportunities and challenges Chinese millennials face. They will discuss, among other things, the impact of the one-child policy on China’s aging society, the role of women, marriage pressures, whether social mobility is stalling, and the growing sense of nationalism amongst the younger generation. Alec’s Wish Lanterns follows the lives of six young Chinese in a vivid, gripping account of young China as it comes of age. Karoline’s debut work of non-fiction, Under Red Skies: Three Generations of Love, Loss, and Hope in China, will be published in 2019. This event will be moderated by Ian Johnson, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author of The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao.

Alec Ash is a writer and editor in Beijing, author of Wish Lanterns, literary nonfiction about the lives of six young Chinese (Picador, 2016), a BBC Book of the Week. He studied English literature at Oxford, and first moved to Beijing in 2008. His articles have appeared in 1843, the Guardian Long Read, New York Review of Books and Dissent. He is Managing Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel, contributing author to the book of reportage Chinese Characters, and co-editor of the anthology While We’re Here. Twitter: @alecash

Karoline Kan was born and grew up in China. She is a writer and journalist. She has worked for That’s Beijing, Radio France International, and now at The New York Times Beijing office. Karoline has also contributed to various other publications including Foreign Policy, Roads and Kingdoms, The World Policy and The Anthill. Karoline’s debut work of non-fiction, Under Red Skies, Three Generations of Love, Loss, and Hope in China, will be published in 2019.

Ian Johnson is a Pulitzer-Prize winning writer focusing on society, religion, and history. He writes features and essays for The New York Times, The New York Review of Books, as well as other publications. He was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and won in 2001 for his coverage of China. Ian has published three books and contributed chapters to three others. His newest book, The Souls of China: The Return of Religion After Mao, describes China’s religious revival and its implications for politics and society. His other books are on civil society and grassroots protest in China (Wild Grass, 2004) and Islamism and the Cold War in Europe (A Mosque in Munich, 2010). He has also contributed chapters to three other books: My First Trip to China (2011), Chinese Characters (2012), and the  Oxford Illustrated History of Modern China (2016).

  • Tickets for BLF 2019 Events

    Due to high demand, we cannot take reservations over the phone or email; please purchase your tickets at The Bookworm Sanlitun or online via Yoopay (click ‘ticket’ on the events page).


    The Bookworm 

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    Chaoyang District, Beijing
    100027, P.R China
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