Yan Lianke is one of the most internationally acclaimed Chinese authors. He started out as propaganda writer for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) aged 20 – and was released from his duties two decades later due to his satirical novels addressing issues and absurdities in modern China. He is a controversial writer of a genre he coined as ›mythorealism‹ with the life of people living in China, often in a rural setting, at its core. His essays are outspoken, his fiction critical, causing some of his works to be banned in China. But both nationally and internationally, he has won numerous literary awards – among them the Franz Kafka Prize, the Lu Xun Literary Prize, the Royal Society of Literature International Writer Lifetime Award, and the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature.
Yan Lianke will join us for a reading of Xin Jing / Heart Sutra, his most recently published novel in English about the tension between religious belief and the state in today’s China, and a conversation about his writing.