Thankful for a day of rest. But pity my colleagues Meijing and Li Ning in London, wrestling with the Chinese Writers programme of the London Book Fair. There's been the inevitable flurry of articles in the British media about 'cosying up the authorities' but in all honesty the 21 writers we've helped bring over and are introducing to literature lovers in London and beyond is a decent list.
Included are Mo Yan (multi-award-winning master of contemporary Chinese literature), Annie Baobei (internet sensation), Xi Chuan (one of the most influential poets in China), Ah Lai (Tibetan writer), Liu Cixin (China's most popular domestic science fiction writer), Sheng Keyi (whose writing reflects on the lives of Chinese women today), Zheng Yuanjie (multi-award-winning Children's author) etc. Some are controversial, some are populist, all are popular. Some already have international publishing deals and are translated but many are not. The purpose of the programme is to engage the UK (and international) literature community more deeply in contemporary Chinese Literature and to promote dialogue between authors in our two countries. In the end, it's far better to foster engagement than isolation.