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Novelist Wu Ming-yi to join literary festivals in Singapore and Malaysia

  • Date:2023-11-24~2023-11-26
Novelist Wu Ming-yi to join literary festivals in Singapore and Malaysia

Invited by the organizers, Taiwanese author Wu Ming-yi (吳明益) will join the Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) and George Town Literary Festival (GTLF) in Malaysia from Nov. 24 to 26, to deliver seminars, visit independent bookstores, and share his reflections on Taiwanese literature. 


SWF and GTLF are the largest literary events in Singapore and Malaysia respectively. On Nov. 24, Wu will give a seminar titled “From a Brick to the Sea Breeze Hotel (從一塊磚到一座海風酒店)” in Singapore, uncovering the journey of how he wrote his new novel “The Sea Breeze Hotel (海風酒店).” On Nov. 25, he will be joining two author talks and converse with writers from Singapore and Malaysia. 


After that, Wu will go to Penang, Malaysia, on Nov. 26. On that day, he will attend the seminar titled “From a Failed Naturalist to an Artefact Hunter (從失敗的博物學者到舊物獵人)” at the GTLF and share the conceptual changes in his writings over the last ten years. Later, he will visit independent bookstore Gerakbudaya/Hikayat and expound his view on Taiwanese literature. 


Regarding the themes of the seminars, Wu said that he often faced questions asked by readers from around the world about the difference between Taiwanese literature and Chinese literature. In response, he said that he will elaborate how the two literary circles interacted yet diverted thematically and stylistically in the 1990s.


The SWF has been organized by the National Arts Council of Singapore since 1986. This year’s theme titled “Plot Twist,” and the participating authors include Vietnamese-American writer Viet Thanh Nguyen, Indian writer Gayatri Spivak, and British poet and playwright Lemn Sissay. 


Supported by the Penang State Government, starting in 2011, GTLF is held annually in November. This year’s theme titled “Terra Incognita,” and the invited speakers include Malaysian novelist Tash Aw, British novelist Geoff Dyer, Thai writer Veeraporn Nitiprapha, Australian novelist Michelle de Kretser, and Burmese artist and Poet Maung Day. 


The Cultural Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia mentioned that the SWF and GTLF are among the few multilingual literary gatherings that are held in English, Chinese, Tamil, and Malay simultaneously, reflecting the ethnic and cultural diversity of the region.