The annual Bookworm Literary Festival kicked off tonight. Bookworm is a great bookshop-cum-library-cum-café-cum-events space in central Beijing, run by Alex Pearson (who hails from Emsworth, five miles from my hometown of Chichester). There are sister branches in Chengdu and Suzhou. And every March they run the fantastic Bookworm Festival. This year has 100 events involving 70 writers, both Chinese & international. We always help bring over some Brits.
Tonight’s opening party featured some taster readings by Hong Ying, the poet Xi Chuan, and an incredibly moving piece by Fergal Keane addressed to his son which he wrote one-handed while cradling him as a baby while reflecting on less fortunate children he’d come across over many years as a war correspondent.
I had to sneak out after that to pick up my own little one who was having pillow fights at a playdate round the corner. But expect regular posts over the next fortnight.