Monday, 31 March 2014

Chengdu Bookworm, March 11

Author banners at Chengdu Bookworm

After an early morning flight to Chengdu, China's fourth largest city and capital of Sichuan province, I'm met by a Chinese volunteer who teaches English at a local university. Making the most of my brief stay here, she and a friend take me by metro (first time I've had to go through a metal detector to enter a subway system) to see a renovated old quarter and its Buddhist temple.

Burning incense at Wenshu Monastery
At my early evening session at the Bookworm, I'm lucky that the moderator, Paddy Booz, is a history teacher with a passion for WWII who can fill in background to my story. I put up some maps and photos, and find this works well wherever I'm speaking. We have a lively discussion with an audience that is a good mix of Chinese and expats. I stay on to hear a panel with David Vann, Musharraf Ali-Farooqi and Danny Laferriere on ‘Why We Write’, and sit in the cafĂ© to have a welcome chicken pie. This is a great local gathering place, enlivened tonight by a singer/piano duo as well as the festival events.

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