The Hong Kong International Literary Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this month with two weeks of events under the theme Present Tense/Future Perfect, inspired by the challenges and changes brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Catherine Platt had a tough job on her hands when she joined as the festival’s director in April, a time when it wasn’t clear whether any events could be planned for 2020. But Platt and her team decided to forge ahead with this year’s edition, which “explores in fiction and non-fiction how the world is responding to health, inequality and climate change issues, as well as future directions for humanity and the planet,” she says.
More than 70 live and virtual events, including writing workshops, lectures, debates, book signings, lunches and dinners, will take place across the city at art venues such as Tai Kwun, the Asia Society and the Fringe Club.
Since 2001, the annual festival has hosted literary leaders, including Seamus Heaney, Yann Martel and Colm Tóibín. Even against the backdrop of Covid-19, the list of authors taking part this year is packed with prominent local and overseas names.
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