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In Search of China’s Soul: Facing History: Best-Selling Author Xue Yiwei on Navigating China’s Complex Literary Scene

March 28, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Wednesday, March 28, 6:00 – 7:30 PM
Speaker: Xue Yiwei
Event Fee: Members Free; Non-Members $10
Location: 40 Rector Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10006

Xue Yiwei’s books are popular in China – but his latest, Dr. Bethune’s Children, has not been published there. That’s because it touches on sensitive moments in history. Xue’s experience raises a question: in a country that has trouble facing its painful past, from the Great Leap Forward to the Cultural Revolution, how can China’s authors handle history in a way that is true? Xue discusses how contemporary Chinese writers navigate those challenging waters.

Dr. Bethune’s Children, which is banned in China (it is available only in a Chinese language version published in Taiwan), focuses on individual lives marked by some of the traumatic events of recent decades that have been veiled by official secrecy. In showing us the effects of the distress and repression that have marked his whole generation, Xue Yiwei unveils the human heart.

Xue Yiwei is an award-winning Chinese writer born in Chenzhou and raised in Changsha, in Hunan province. He has a BSc in Computer Science from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, an MA in English Literature from Université de Montréal, and a PhD in Linguistics from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. He has taught Chinese literature at Shenzhen University and is the author of sixteen books, including four novels—Desertion (1989, reissued 2012), Dr. Bethune’s Children (2011), Farewells from a Shadow (2013), and Empty Nest (2014) —and five collections of stories. He lives in Montréal.

For questions please contact Aaron Nicholson at 212-744-8181 ext. 138 or by email at [email protected]


March 28, 2018
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Event Category:


Downtown Office
40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006 United States
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