What's it like to be a young adult in China now? What insights, and what risks, come with trying to share that experience with the wider world, in English? Alec Ash’s widely-praised new book Wish Lanterns follows six Chinese millennials as they navigate family, work, and social life in Beijing and back in their hometowns. Xiaolu Guo has called Wish Lanterns “an intimate and complex portrait of the one child generation,” and The Financial Times's Jonathan Fenby writes that the book is one of the best he’s read about contemporary China. Please join the School of English as we invite recent graduates and current postgrads to share their perspectives in a panel discussion with Alec Ash, where we'll talk about journalism in the age of social media, cross-cultural storytelling, and especially, how Hong Kong stories fit into the picture.

Alec Ash is a writer and journalist in Beijing, author of Wish Lanterns, literary nonfiction about the lives of six young Chinese published by Picador in 2016. His articles have appeared in The Economist, Dissent, BBC, Prospect, Foreign Policy and elsewhere. He is a contributor to the book of reportage Chinese Characters and co-editor of the anthology While We're Here. Ash studied English literature at Oxford University, where he edited The Isis magazine and hitchiked to Morocco. After graduating he taught in a Tibetan village in western China before moving to Beijing in 2008. In 2012 he founded a “writers’ colony” of stories from China at the Anthill. He is a regular blogger for the Los Angeles Review of Books and has interviewed over sixty authors about their literary influences at Five Books.

Johnson CHAN Man Long is currently an MPhil candidate in the School of English at The University of Hong Kong. He is a former law student and education consultant at a local education service provider. He is also an aspiring writer and librettist. His musical, Eastern Odyssey, will be performed this coming December at the Hong Kong Cultural Center.

Sydney WANG Jingtian is a second year PhD student in the School of English. Her research interests include language ideology, multilingualism and computer-mediated communication. The participants in her present project are 10 millennials who were born in Hebei province and moved to Beijing for employment. She closely focuses on how her participants conduct guanxi, the culture-loaded process of soliciting assistance from family, friends and people to whom they are interpersonally connected, on Wechat.

Claire XU Daozhi completed her PhD in English literary studies at The University of Hong Kong, MA at Renmin University of China and BA at Minzu University of China. She is now working at the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include children’s literature, postcolonial literary studies, cultural theories, and representations of Aboriginality. She is currently completing a monograph entitled ‘Indigenous cultural capital in Australian children’s literature’. She is also interested in translation and now working with Australian poets Alex Skovron and Patricia Sykes on the Chinese translation of their collections of poems.

Collier NOGUES is a PhD Fellow in the School of English, where she studies contemporary poetry’s response to US militarization, particularly in the Pacific.She is the author of two poetry collections, The Ground I Stand On Is Not My Ground (Drunken Boat, 2014) and On the Other Side, Blue (Four Way, 2011), and was the 2016 Writer-in-Residence at Lingnan University. She also co-edits poetry for Juked and curates Hong Kong’s English-medium poetry craft talk series.

Please click here for the poster.


Hosted by the School of English in collaboration with the Hong Kong International Literary Festival.
Light refreshments will be served.