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Elements of writing in style

Updated: 2012-04-05 14:04
By Mei Jia ( China Daily)

Elements of writing in style

Main venue for China and exhibit hall for translation books in English and Chinese. Provided to China Daily

China will be the focus at the Earls Court Exhibition Center in London from April 15 to 18, when the Chinese pavilion will take center stage as the market focus of the 2012 London Book Fair.

Zhang Fuhai, director of the international exchange and cooperation department of the General Administration of Press and Publication, says the Chinese pavilion at the fair will be divided into five zones named after the elements central to Chinese tradition - metal, wood, water, fire and earth - and will play host to a wide range of activities and many celebrities.

"We will present a feast of both traditional and contemporary Chinese culture with masters from various fields," Zhang says.

China has gained plenty of experience from being guest of honor at previous international book fairs.

Elements of writing in style

"Based on these experiences, China's pavilion at the London Book Fair will be characterized by its long window of opportunity, colorful events, and visits by renowned figures," Zhang says.

Some of them will be launching their own books in English about their experiences of being part of China's rejuvenation.

"And of course, we want to promote the understanding and influence of contemporary Chinese literature," Zhang says.

Fifty-two Chinese writers are due to attend the book fair, giving speeches and communicating with other writers and readers. Most of them have their works translated into English, Zhang says.

In total, there will be more than 300 events, and 181 publishers will bring 10,000 titles to the fair.

"Chinese publishers have a wealth of excellent intellectual property to market," says Paul Richardson, British publisher and former China Book International foreign consultant, in an e-mail to China Daily.

"In book business terms the Sino-British book trade is burgeoning," Richardson says. "There are significant developments in Chinese publishing's efforts to get into Western markets, with the UK as one of the most important in itself and as a stepping-off point into the rest of Europe."

China has a growing presence in world publishing and Richardson believes Chinese publishers can use the fair to gain a better understanding of how the United Kingdom and other European markets operate.

Richardson says he will be attending the fair giving speeches, writing commentaries and advising Chinese publishers on publishing opportunities and acquisitions in the West.

Literary translator Eric Abrahamsen will be acting as translator for the Chinese writers' events, which he thinks will be the highlights of the show.

"I hope I'll be able to play a role in getting more Chinese literature published in the West," Abrahamsen says.

Sheng Keyi, representing young female writers born in 1970s, will talk about city life and her novel Northern Girls, to be released in English in May.

Her experience as a migrant worker in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, inspired her work.

"I'm to share my views on migrant workers' living and working conditions in big cities like Shenzhen," Sheng said.

Best-selling children's writer Yang Hongying, hailed as China's J.K. Rowling, whose work has been translated in several foreign languages, will be promoting the English version of her latest picture book

"Audiences at international writers' exchanges are often eager to know how large the Chinese readership is and often surprised about how knowledgeable they are," Yang told China Daily.

"We buy a large number of foreign children's books every year," Yang added, "but we're also creating our own, which children outside China enjoy."

meijia@chinadaily.com.cn

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