Sydney Writers' Festival 2012

Place and Displacement Floating Building Image

The Writing and Society Research Centre hosted an event for the Sydney Writers' Festival on 16 May 2012. We presented two distinguished international guests, Chinese author Sheng Keyi and Icelandic poet and novelist Sjón, on the subject of Place and Displacement.

Sheng Keyi talks about relationship between writers and the state in China.

Sheng Keyi had a rural upbringing and writes of the migrant experience with the depth of personal insight: she was born in Hunan and is now living in Beijing after several years spent living in Shenzhen. Through her writing she addresses the issues that affect women in China today, and often experiments with style and voice. A multi-award winning author, Northern Girls will be the first of her works to be published in English.

Sjón talks about the creative benefits of provincial culture and living on the periphery.

Sjón is a celebrated Icelandic poet and novelist. He won the Nordic Council Literature Prize, the equivalent of the Man Booker Prize, for The Blue Fox, which was also longlisted for The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2009. His work has been translated into 22 languages. Sjón is president of the Icelandic PEN Centre and director on the board of Reykjavík, UNESCO City of Literature. Also a songwriter, he has written lyrics for Björk. His latest novel is From the Mouth of the Whale.

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