Samantha Kuok-Leese

Chan Koon Chung – banned in China

Chan Koon Chung’s previous novel, The Fat Years, was set in a gently dystopian Beijing of 2013, when a whole month is missing from the Chinese public’s awareness, and everyone is inexplicably happy. Since it first appeared in 2009, the novel has enjoyed cult success in both Chinese and English translation, even becoming, as Julia

23 years later

‘Let us learn how to live life with honour and dignity and a wealth of humanity.’ — Liu Xiaobo, 2000 June fourth will mark the 23rd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, a tragedy which remains unacknowledged by the Chinese government except in the weakest of euphemisms. On that day, the state used martial law

The world has yet to see the best of Chinese literature

– Hong Kong  Imagine if every British novel published since the 1940s was about the Second World War. That’s about as accurate a view of contemporary China held by readers in the Anglophone West, say experts here. On the eve of this year’s Man Asian Literary Prize announcement, it’s worth considering why that’s still the

Katie Kitamura interview

Gone to the Forest is Katie Kitamura’s second novel, about a family and the cost of European colonization in an unknown time and place. Tom and his father live on a farm in a country that recalls, at first and most often, J.M Coetzee’s South Africa. It is on the brink of civil war. The

North Korea’s darkest secret

There are concentration camps in North Korea. We can see them clearly, via high-resolution satellite images on Google Earth. There are six of them, according to South Korean intelligence, and the largest is bigger than the city of Los Angeles. Of the six, four camps are ‘complete control districts’ where ‘irredeemable’ prisoners are worked to

History is made at the Man Asian Literary Prize

– Hong Kong South Korean author Kyung-sook Shin has become the first woman to win the Man Asian Literary Prize for her novel Please Look After Mother, which tells the story of a family’s heartbreaking search  for their mum after she goes missing from a Seoul subway station. During a black-tie dinner hosted at the

Authors rail against attack on free speech in India

Jaipur — It was a sad weekend here for freedom of speech, as the Rushdie controversy took one strange turn after another. Having read from the banned The Satanic Verses on Friday night, in protest of Rushdie’s absence at the festival, writers Hari Kunzru, Amitava Kumar, Ruchir Joshi and Jeet Thayil were advised by lawyers