Saturday, August 16, 2008

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I went to the Shanghai Book Fair in Gubei today.

Ticket to ride

The first talk I went to was by Shanghai writer Chen Danyan. I first made aware of her writing when she did a conversation with American-based author and translator Qiu Xiaolong at the Shanghai Int'l Literary Festival in 2007. Eventually I got around to reading her 《慢船去中国》, and I am enjoying it. Today she was promoting her new book, 永不扩宽的街道, a collection of vignettes from protected neighborhoods around Shanghai. After the talk and taking a few questions, she stayed to sign books. Mine is made out to "Micah and Jodi". (I took a video of one minute of her talk and put it on Youtube.)

Ms Chen

The second talk I went to on a whim. It was a panel promoting a series of books called 《海派文化丛书》 (Shanghainese Culture Collection), hosted by the chairman of the 上海市对外文化交流协会 (Shanghai Municipal Cultural Exchange Association). The panel was composed of the authors on Shanghaise cooking, literature, history, movies, men(!), and dynastic families. Sitting next to a chatty intern from the Wenhui Post, and some of the panelists being quite the characters (沈寂, 程乃珊) made the talk somewhat bearable.

Panel of Shanghai experts

The Book Fair is being held at the Shanghai Mart in Gubei, a short taxi ride away from the Loushanguan Rd metro station. Don't miss the specialized publishers on the higher floors. A schedule of the fair's talks is available from volunteers inside the front door. Tickets are RMB 10 at the door. Tuesday is the last day.

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