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Asian writers to make their marks

By Zhang Kun in Shanghai  (China Daily)

14:42, February 27, 2013

F.G.Haghenbeck, Mexican author of The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo.(China Daily)

Starting with Australian author Frank Moorhouse's speech 11 years ago, in which he made a link between martinis and literature, Shanghai International Literary Festival has become an annual highpoint in the city's cultural calendar.

Different faces, same Chinese Dream[Special]

From March 1 to 17, the upcoming 11th edition of the festival will feature 71 authors from 21 countries.

Among them are Asian authors making a splash on the international scene, like Shin Kyung-sook, the only South Korean writer and also the first woman to win the Man Asian Literary Prize, in 2012; and Jeet Thayil, an Indian poet and novelist short-listed for the Man Booker Prize last year.

There are also authors known in their own countries but less familiar outside, such as Baris Mustecaplioglu from Turkey, and "Nordic Noir masters" like Hakan Nesser from Sweden and Leena Lehtolainen from Finland.

Mexico's F.G. Haghenbeck will make his first visit to China during the festival. His novel The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo has just come out in Chinese. The book combines the life stories of Kahlo, the Mexican artist famed for her self-portraits, along with cooking recipes and a touch of magic realism.

"We loved the magic in the book as well as the Mexican flavor through all the cultural and culinary references in the book," says Gloria Masdeu, from the publisher of Haghenbeck's book in Chinese, 99 Readers' Culture Co Ltd.

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