Hong Kong Book Fair 2015

This event has passed
Jul 15-Jul 21

The Hong Kong Book Fair is back and, with it, a plethora of page-turners and prize-winning writers. April Foster picks out the best of what’s on

Whether you’re a self-confessed book snob, a slave to the best sellers or a bedtime ambler, there’s a new read for every literary lover at this year’s Hong Kong Book Fair, which runs from July 15 to 21. Over a million visitors swarmed through the doors last year and with more authors, exhibitors, and publishing houses in attendance, this year’s event is set to be even grander.

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the annual fair attracts attendees and writers from far and wide. Benjamin Chau, deputy executive director of the Council, comments on the fair’s importance in promoting a healthy reading culture. “When we read, we create an attachment to the characters and their world,” says Chau, “The Hong Kong Book Fair encourages readers to fall in love with books”. The sentiment is one that is reflected in this year’s theme, ‘Reading the World – Love at First Book’.

Traipse over to the Convention and Exhibition Centre to flick through titles still hot off the press, meet the faces behind the pages and even hone your rusty writing skills. This year’s set to be a real page-turner, so here are our recommendations for the top happenings throughout the fair.

Open Forum: How and what and why do writers write?

A panel of international authors deliberate all things literary at this fan-favourite event. On the bill are biographer Carol Thatcher, daughter of the former British Prime Minister, Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton and historical novelist Simon Sebag Montefiore. Moderating the proceedings is man about town, Sir David Tang. Things will get heated! 

Fri Jul 17, Theatre, HKCEC, Wan Chai. 5pm-7pm and Sat Jul 18, Loke Yew Hall, HKU, 10.30am-12.30pm.

Journey into the Imagination: A Dialogue with Ben Okri

Poet and novelist Ben Okri, best known for his Man Booker prize-winning novel The Famished Road, leads a voyage into the rich realm of the imagination. Pack your pen and a sprinkling of bright ideas. 

Sun Jul 19, Theatre 2, HKCEC; britishcouncil.hk. 2.30pm-4pm. Free. Register online.

A Dialogue and Creative Workshop with Keith Gray

Young-adult novelist Keith Gray divulges his peculiar aversion to reading and shares his thoughts on inspiring young people to put pen to paper during this intimate dialogue. “I love being a part of any event celebrating books and reading and writing. It’s all about sharing stories [that] build empathy,” says Gray. He also hosts an interactive workshop, which explores the key components in fiction – character and conflict.

A Dialogue with Keith Gray
Thu Jul 16, Meeting Room S222-223, HKCEC; britishcouncil.hk. 6pm-7.30pm. Free. Register online.

Creative Writing Workshop
Fri July 17. 307-308, British Council, 3 Supreme Court Rd, Admiralty; britishcouncil.hk. 2.30pm-4pm. Free. Register online.

Author of the Year: Leo Ou-fan Lee

The acclaimed professor from Henan, who penned Shanghai Modern and City Between Worlds, takes centre stage as the festival’s author of the year. In celebration, there’s an exhibition documenting his life and works alongside a series of engaging seminars.

HK Book Fair Jul 15-21. HKCEC, 1 Expo Dr, Wan Chai, 2582 8888;
hkbookfair.hktdc.com. $25 (adult), $10 (morning pass), $10 (child).



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