May 3, 2018

Kim Thúy Talks About Her Novel "Vi" at the University of Toronto, May 7 as part of Asian Heritage Month


The youngest of four children and the only girl, Vi was given a name that meant "precious, tiny
one," destined to be cosseted and protected, the family's little treasure.  Daughter of an enterprising mother and a wealthy, spoiled father who never had to grow up, the Vietnam War destroys the life they've known. Vi, along with her mother and brothers, manages to escape-- but her father stays behind, leaving a painful void as the rest of the family must make a new life for themselves in Canada.

While her family puts down roots, life has different plans for Vi. As a young woman, she finds the
world opening up to her. Taken under the wing of Hà, a worldly family friend, and her diplomat
lover, Vi tests personal boundaries and crosses international ones, letting the winds of life buffet
her. From Saigon to Montreal, from Suzhou to Boston to the fall of the Berlin Wall, she is witness to
the immensity of the world, the intricate fabric of humanity, the complexity of love, the infinite
possibilities before her. Ever the quiet observer, somehow she must find a way to finally take her
place in the world.

Born in Saigon in 1968, Kim Thúy left Vietnam with the boat people at the age of ten and settled
with her family in Quebec. A graduate in translation and law, she has worked as a seamstress,
interpreter, lawyer, restaurant owner, and commentator on radio and television. She lives in
Montreal and devotes herself to writing.

Sheila Fischman is the award-winning translator of some 150 contemporary novels from Quebec.
In 2008 she was awarded the Molson Prize in the Arts. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and
a chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec. She lives in Montreal.Praise for Vi and Kim Thúy.

"A voyage into the Vietnamese soul, a story of rupture and a long rebirth of the self, Vi is a novel that is at once astonishing and energizing, one that pays magnificent homage to the quiet power of women"—ELLE France

"Kim Thúy is one of the most interesting new voices in Canadian literature." —CBC Books

With Kim Thúy, past and present are never very far apart.” — La Vie

April 27, 2018

ACWW and University of Toronto presents Kim Thuy on May 7, 2018


The Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop (ACWW) is expanding across Canada, starting with a Toronto chapter, led by author JF Garrard and Dr. Lisa Rose Mar, Richard Charles Lee Chair in Chinese Canadian Studies.  ACWW and the University of Toronto are proud to host Kim Thúy, who will be reading from her novel Vi followed by audience Q&A as part of Asian Heritage Month.  Born in Saigon in 1968, Kim left Vietnam with the boat people at the age of ten and settled with her family in Quebec. A graduate in translation and law, she has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer, restaurant owner, and commentator on radio and television. She lives in Montreal and devotes herself to writing.

CBC News describes Vi as “exploring the lives, loves and struggles of Vietnamese refugees as they reinvent themselves in new lands.

The book will be available for sale at the venue.  To register, please go to: https://munkschool.utoronto.ca/ai/event/25264/register/

Monday, May 7, 2018, 5:30PM-7:30PM at Munk School of Global Affairs (208N, North House, 1 Devonshire Place)

April 16, 2018

Screening Conversation of Boundary 也斯:東西 on May 8, 7.00pm


Tuesday, 8 May 2018, 7 pm (doors open @ 6:30 pm)
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
578 Carrall Street, Vancouver
Free and open to the public
English/Chinese subtitles (138 mins | 2015 | Trailer)

A City Inscribed event. Registration is required.

In 2009, when the idea of producing a documentary first emerged, Ye Si 也斯 (pen name of Leung Ping-kwan 梁秉鈞, 1949–2013) offered this suggestion: “If you want to understand me, you should get acquainted with my friends. You will find part of me in each of them.” And thus began an exploration—through the eyes of academics, writers, artists, fashion designers, food connoisseurs, as well as Ye Si’s family—of an extraordinary literary life, a journey that was intricately linked to the cosmopolitanism that was, and is, Hong Kong.

Dr. WONG King Fai is an award-winning film director, screenwriter, and novelist. He is the director of 1918 and Boundary, which document, respectively, the literary lives of Liu Yichang (1918–) and Ye Si (1949–2013), two of the most-celebrated writers of Hong Kong. Dr. Wong’s screenplay for the film Life without Principle (2011) has garnered a number of prestigious awards, including the Best Original Screenplay (the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards), the Best Screenwriter (Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards), and the Best Screenwriter (Chinese Film Media Awards). Dr. Wong has published two collections of short stories and is Chief Editor of the series “Literature and Cinema” (Hong Kong University Press). Dr. Wong has been named the 2018 Best Artist (Arts Criticism) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

This community screening is organized by UBC Hong Kong Studies Initiative and co-sponsored by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Chinese Canadian Writers’ Association, Vancouver Hong Kong Forum Society, Youth Collaborative for Chinatown, Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Ricepaper Magazine, LiterASIAN Festival, explorASIAN/VAHMS, PCHC–MoM Society, and Institute for Transpacific Cultural Research (SFU).


ACWW is proud to Support 1967/1997: Reflections on Hong Kong Literature and Cinema


Saturday, 12 May 2018, 2 pm
Centre A
268 Keefer St., Vancouver
Free and open to the public
(Program in Cantonese)

A City Inscribed event. Registration is required.

How has the literature and cinema of Hong Kong responded to major transformations? In particular, how have the upheavals associated with the 1967 riots and the 1997 handover been marked by the literary and the visual? Come join Dr. Mary Shuk-Han Wong of Lingnan University and award-winning director Dr. Wong King Fai for a conversation about the past and present of Hong Kong literature and cinema.

Dr. Mary Shuk-Han WONG is an associate professor in the Department of Chinese at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. She has published widely on film and literature. She is the author of Feminine Writing: Cinema, Literature and Everyday Live (2014) and Hong Kong Cinema: Writer, Literature and Cinema (2013). Major edited works include the “Hong Kong Literature and Culture of the 1950s” series (2013) and the “Hong Kong Literature and Culture of the 1960s” series (2018). She is also a novelist and essayist. Major creative works include Against the Grain (2017), From Kafka (2015), and an award-winning collection of short stories, Surviving Central (2013). She is also the co-producer of the documentaries 1918 (2015) and Boundary (2015). An edited anthology, Hong Kong 1960s, is scheduled to appear in June 2018.

Dr. WONG King Fai is an award-winning film director, screenwriter, and novelist. He is the director of 1918 and Boundary, which document, respectively, the literary lives of Liu Yichang (1918–) and Ye Si (1949–2013), two of the most-celebrated writers of Hong Kong. Dr. Wong’s screenplay for the film Life without Principle (2011) has garnered a number of prestigious awards, including the Best Original Screenplay (the Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival and Awards), the Best Screenwriter (Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards), and the Best Screenwriter (Chinese Film Media Awards). Dr. Wong has published two collections of short stories and is Chief Editor of the series “Literature and Cinema” (Hong Kong University Press). Dr. Wong has been named the 2018 Best Artist (Arts Criticism) by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council.

March 26, 2018

Chinatown Ghosts: The Poems and Photographs of Jim Wong-Chu

Jim Wong-Chu is a legend in the Asian Canadian writing community. As founder of the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop (and its magazine Ricepaper), he constantly encouraged and inspired writers across the country to get their work published and acknowledged, from Paul Yee and Evelyn Lau to Madeleine Thien and Catherine Hernandez. When Jim passed away in 2017, at the age of sixty-eight, he left not only a void in the Asian Canadian writing and publishing community but also a legacy of his own work that was never fully recognized.

When it first appeared in 1986, Chinatown Ghosts was the first Chinese Canadian poetry book ever published; the poems spoke eloquently to the Chinese Canadian experience, both historical and present day. Out of print for some twenty-five years, this new edition includes Jim's striking and evocative photographs of Vancouver's Chinatown, revealing the soul of a place and a community that is threatened by gentrification and displacement.

The book also contains numerous tributes to Jim from some of Canada’s finest Asian-Canadian writers and editors, including Allan Cho, Glenn Deer, Catherine Hernandez, SKY Lee, Fred Wah, Terry Watada, Rita Wong, and Paul Yee.  Chinatown Ghosts is a moving and stirring tribute to a poet, a photographer, and a community.

"I see the poems of Chinatown Ghosts not just as snapshots of a time and place gone by but as a necessary and panoramic part of Jim’s struggle to envision a world that acknowledges difference." --Fred Wah, from his essay in the book

Chinatown Ghosts: The Poems and Photographs of Jim Wong-Chu will be launched at LiterASIAN 2018, as part of the opening event.

March 22, 2018

You Are Invited: NINE DRAGONS Book Launch

Jovanni Sy, Artistic Director, Gateway Theatre
Kevin Williams, President, Talonbooks
Allan Cho, Festival Director, LiterASIAN Festival

Invite you to celebrate the publishing of
Nine Dragons 
by Jovanni Sy
BOOK LAUNCH
Tuesday, April 17, 7pm
Gateway Theatre, 2nd Floor Lobby

FREE event before the performance of Nine Dragons
Light refreshments will be served. Cash bar.  


Be among the first to buy a copy of the book and get it signed by playwright Jovanni Sy!
  • $15 (25% off) for ticket holders to the April 17, 8pm performance ofNine Dragons
  • $20 regular price 
Jovanni will talk about the play, and Allan will highlight some of the Featured Authors at the upcoming 2018 LiterASIAN Festival.