The Script Road – Macau Literary Festival 2018 will feature Jung Chang, the acclaimed author of “Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China” (1991), which the Asian Wall Street Journal has called the “most read book” about China.
Chang is also the writer of “Mao: The Unknown Story” (published in 2005, with Jon Halliday), a controversial biography of the PRC founder Mao Tse Tung, and “Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China” (2013).
At a press conference yesterday, the organizers announced that the festival, which will be held from March 10-25 at the Old Court Building, will bring more than 60 writers, translators, musicians, filmmakers, performers and visual artists to Macau.
Heading the line-up of the upcoming festival, Change has received many awards including the UK Writers’ Guild ‘Best Non-Fiction’ and ‘Book of the Year UK’, and is the recipient of a number of honorary doctorates from universities in the UK and USA.
Another highlight of the festival is the attendance of Li-Young Lee, a multi-award winning American poet, author of several poetry collections and the memoir “The Winged Seed: A Remembrance”.
Born of Chinese parents in Jakarta, Lee learned about loss and exile from an early age. Immediately after Sun Yat-sen’s provisional period, Lee’s great grandfather was China’s first republican President, Yuan Shikai. His father, a deeply religious Christian, was physician to Communist leader Mao Tse Tung. After a five-year trek through Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan, Lee’s family settled in the United States in 1964.
Tokyo-based writer and descendent of the Lobo Macanese family, Marco Lobo, will also join The Script Road.
His historical novels, “The Witch Hunter’s Amulet” and “Mesquita’s Reflections,” explore themes of cultural conflict involving race and religion.
The latter will be published in Chinese and Portuguese and will be launched during the literary festival, organizers said.
Lijia Zhang, author of “Socialism Is Great!” will also be present at the festival with her debut novel “Lotus” on prostitution in contemporary China. The festival will also showcase the works of Miguel Syjuco, novelist, journalist, and university professor from the Philippines, whose debut novel “Ilustrado” was a NY Times Notable Book of 2010 and the winner of The Man, Asian Literary Prize.
Organizers also announced that this year’s The Script Road Short Story Competition has received some 190 entries from around the globe.
“The stories came from a large number of places but [stories from] Portuguese-speaking countries are [the largest],” said Helder Beja, program director of The Script Road. He added that there are a significant number of entries from Brazil.
“The majority of Chinese stories are from local writers, and also some are from China and Hong Kong, but a large majority comes from Macau,” he added.
The Macau Literary Festival will be screening a total of five films this year, both at Cinematheque Passion and the Portuguese Consulate-General.
Chinese filmmaker Ju Anqi is traveling to Macau with his latest film, “Poet on a Business Trip”; writer and director Han Dong will be showing “At the Dock”; and poet Yu Jian will present his documentary “Jade Green Station”.
The festival will also host a series of exhibitions and two concerts, headlined by Portuguese singer JP Simões and folk singer and poet Zhou Yunpeng.