Arts Books Hong Kong literature

Arts of Hong Kong: Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2021 – The Rebound Edition

HONG KONG – The Hong Kong International Literary Festival (HKILF) announces highlight programmes for their 21st Festival, entitled the Rebound Edition. Hong Kong’s premier literary event will return from 5th to 15th November, with the main festival weekend taking place over four days from 11th to 14th November at venues including Asia Society, The Fringe Club, and Tai Kwun. This year’s edition will focus on themes of resilience, recovery and mental health, with an emphasis on new fiction and the joy of reading. Headline speakers will include best-selling and award-winning authors Amor Towles, Paula Hawkins, Damon Galgut and Karen McManus, as well as some of the most exciting emerging and established talents from Hong Kong.

“Our 21st edition aims to inspire the joy of reading with something to interest book lovers of all kinds,” says Festival Director, Catherine Platt. “Hong Kong’s many avid readers will not want to miss Amor Towles, author of A Gentleman in Moscow, speaking about his new novel The Lincoln Highway; Girl on a Train author Paula Hawkins on her latest thriller, A Slow Fire Burning; or South African author Damon Galgut’s Booker-prize short-listed novel, The Promise. From world-class fiction to new books exploring mental health and wellness, festival goers will be spoilt for choice with a packed weekend of hybrid events, including live-streamed authors, as well as in-person panel discussions, readings, workshops and walking tours that highlight local talent.”

Under the theme of Rebound, this year’s HKILF will present a diverse range of international and local authors exploring perspectives on current issues in the business world, inspiring stories of creativity and resilience, as well as new imaginings of Hong Kong in recent novels and nonfiction books, among other themes.

Featured programmes include discussions on how to create a heathier approach to work-life balance. Dr. Bill Mitchell, author of Time to Breathe: Navigating Life and Work for Energy, Success and Happiness, will discuss how to build resilience and avoid burnout, while business psychotherapist Naomi Shragai transforms how we think about our working lives in her book, The Man Who Mistook His Job for His Life: How to Thrive at Work by Leaving Your Emotional Baggage Behind.

Organizational psychologist and bestselling author of Think Again, Adam Grant, will speak with technologist Kai-fu Lee and sci-fi author Chen Qiu-fan about their innovative collaboration, AI 2024: Ten Visions for our Future, and how AI will challenge the organizing principles of our economic and social order

Best-selling YA author Kiran Millward Hargrave will speak with artist husband Tom de Freston and confront issues of mental health, endurance and hope within their illustrated novel and first collaborative work Julia and the Shark. Horatio Clare chronicles his breakdown and recovery in Heavy Light: A Journey Through Madness, Mania and Healing, while Matt Ottley takes us on a musical and artistic journey with a screening of his film, The Tree of Ecstasy and Unbearable Sadness.

In addition, economist and public policy expert Dambisa Moyo will speak about How Boards Work and How They Can Work Better in a Chaotic World, and other panels will feature journalists Sathnam Sanghera and James Griffiths, and historians Chi-Man Kwong, Philip Cracknell and Linda Jaivin

Showcasing the best of Hong Kong, the Festival will act as a platform for discovery of the latest works by local authors. Uncovering compelling new works of fiction as well as delving into Hong Kong’s history and heritage, the 21st edition will feature stand-out Hong Kong fiction from Kit Fan, Naoise Dolan, Pik-Shuen Fung, Hannah Bent, and Larry Feign, and readings by emerging writers Alice Chan, Virginia Ng and Angus Lee. Further events include cartoonist Harry Harrison and comedian Vivek Mahbubani discussing their life’s work making people laugh, a panel on the mental health impact of Hong Kong’s 21 day quarantine and Hong Kong-based wine expert Jeannie Cho Lee, who invites us to slow down and relax with a good Burgundy. Hong Kong poet Mary Jean Chan, winner of the 2019 Costa Book Award for Poetry, will be the featured poet in this year’s school’s poetry contest, which will close out the festival with readings from student winners and international poets.

Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2021: The Rebound Edition runs from 5th to 15th November 2021. More information available here

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