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Mo Yan in Foshan for literary festival

Posted: 08/19/2013 1:00 pm

Nobel laureate Mo Yan is among the illustrious literary figures who are attending the second South China International Literary Festival which took place on Saturday (August 17), Chinanews reports.

Other high-profile attendees include editor-in-chief of People’s Literature magazine Li Jingze, satirical author Yan Lianke, broadcaster and social commentator Bai Yansong and filmmaker Jia Zhangke.

The theme of the festival is “Chinese Radiance” and its aim, according to Chinanews, is to increase engagement between literature and wider society. It is also said to be about engagement with history and understanding between different ethnicities and classes.

Non-fiction writing has come to be seen as a serious literary form in China in recent years and awards were given out to recognise outstanding examples of the form. The 60 authors judging the awards included Hu Shuli, an outspoken journalist who you can see speaking in English about societal issues on YouTube here.

According to the report, the Literature Prize for Non-fiction was won by “Going Out of the Liang Village” by Liang Hong, which is about the plight of migrant workers. The history prize was won by Chen Tushou for “The Ancients Had Thoughts” and Xie Xizhang won the biography award for her book about scholar Liang Qichao.

Migrant worker and poet Zheng Xaioqiong was given an award for the cutting-edge social commentary in her poetry. Canadian author Patti Gully was also awarded for her book: “Sisters of Heaven: China’s Barnstorming Aviatrixes: Modernity, Feminism, and Popular Imagination in Asia and the West.”

The event is co-organized by The Southern Media Group and People’s Literature.

Correction: Originally we wrote that the festival would last into this week. In fact, it ended Saturday.

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