Pakistan News & Features Services
The organisers of next month's annual Hong Kong Book Fair expect it to be the biggest yet, with a record number of exhibitors and varied line-up of authors from around the world scheduled to deliver talks. More than 560 exhibitors from 25 countries will take part in the event, which runs from July 17 to 23.
"We are hoping to have over a million people attend the fair this year," Benjamin Chau Kai-leung, Deputy Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTC), was quoted as saying.
The HKTC has organised more than 400 events including seven seminars with such authors as Jung Chang, whose books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China and biography Mao: The Unknown Story are banned on the mainland. Also due to talk is political scholar Wu Jiaxiang, a former official who was jailed for three years for his role in supporting Tiananmen Square students.
Other writers include William Shawcross, the official biographer of the late Queen Mother; Erica Jong, the author of the novel Fear of Flying, which has sold 20 million copies; and Nury Vittachi, a Hong Kong-based journalist and author known for his comedic take on life in Asia.
"Hong Kong is a special platform. There is high tolerance and freedom of expression," Yau Lop-poon, editor-in-chief of the newsweekly Yazhou Zhoukan and a member of the advisory panel for the fair's activities, felt.
Chau observed that the fair's patrons had been more receptive to a diversity of genres and writing styles than other fairs elsewhere in China, making it an irreplaceable platform for authors.
There will be 16 pavilions at the fair, including ‘English Avenue’, ‘Children's Paradise’, ‘e-Books’ and ‘International Cultural Village’ among others. An art gallery will display photographs, novels, videos and other items of The Fat Years author Chan Koonchung and book covers of famous sci-fi writer Ni Kuang's Wisely series, in celebration of its 50th anniversary.
Another attraction at the art gallery will be a 360-degree panoramic projection theatre that will display the Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang in Gansu province. Tickets for the fair have gone on sale and can be purchased at HK Ticketing stations and designated 7-eleven and Circle K convenience stores.