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at beijing bookworm before the festival

This is me before Australian Writers Week in China. The last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind (or should I say a whirly-whirly). I spoke at four different universities, two of which were in Inner Mongolia; I met translators, publishers, and writers from China and the world; I learned ten thousand things about China and the world; I hung out with ambassadors and academics and was fed splendid banquets; I stumbled my way through bilingual conversations with new friends; and finally, I read a story and spoke on a panel at the Beijing Bookworm Literary Festival.

There is no ‘after’ picture because sleeping, but here are a few highlights.

With Zohab Z Khan and Maxine Beneba Clarke at Foreign Studies U. Pic by Aus embassy

With Maxine and a poster. Pic by Aus embassy

With Maxine Beneba Clarke, Prof Wang Jinghui and students at Tsinghua U. Pic by Aus embassy


Many thanks to the Australian Embassy and the Beijing Bookworm for making all that possible, especially the part where I went to Hohhot for work because I really enjoyed that. I once set a story in Inner Mongolia (Architecture) and it was good to actually go there. I want to go back and look around the ghost cities and visit the lovely people I met and continue having interesting conversations about the parallels between Inner Mongolia and Central Australia.

In the middle of that hectic fortnight I found out that I have a residency at Yaddo in August this year, yeah that’s Sylvia Plath! James Baldwin! Laurie Anderson! Yaddo, so I will be heading back to the US for a month after the summer break to write like the wind.

I like you, 2015.