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Chinese-born English writer Xiaolu Guo is one of the most distinctive and exciting voices in contemporary literature. She is also an award-winning filmmaker and the Weather Station writer in residence at Free Word, London, a global initiative that places literature and storytelling at the heart of the conversations around climate change.
Xiaolu’s latest novel is I am China. Set in London, Dover and Beijing, I am China tells the story of translator Iona Kirkpatrick, who uncovers a tale of two lovers separated by distance and political intervention. Jian, an exiled musician, is trapped in a detention centre while his girlfriend Mu tries to track him down through desperate letters to the authorities. As Iona is drawn deeper into their story, she resolves to do whatever she can to reunite the couple, irrespective of the consequences.
Xiaolu’s previous novels have been nominated for the Orange Prize and the Dublin IMPAC Award, and her films have featured at the Locarno, Sundance and Venice Film Festivals. One of Granta magazine’s Best Young British Novelists Under 40, Xiaolu will discuss I am China, her body of work, the Weather Stations project, and what it means to be caught between two worlds.
Dan Edwards is a freelance writer, journalist and academic whose work has appeared in the Age, the Sydney Morning Herald, RealTime, Crikey and New Matilda.
One of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists under 40, Xiaolu Guo is profound, incisive, funny and often disturbingly accurate.
The Wheeler Centre is one of five partners in a brand new global project, which places literature and storytelling at the heart of the conversations around climate change. Launched in 2014, the Weather Stations project harnesses the transformative power of words to imagine, in the context of a threatened environment, how we might live our lives differently.
Over 18 months, the project will bring together five cultural institutions from around the world: the Wheeler Centre, Free Word in London, internationales literaturfestival Berlin, Krytyka Polityczna in Warsaw and Tallaght Community Arts in Dublin.
Each Weather Station has appointed a writer in residence, whose task is to produce a body of work that reflects how they view our relationship with the environment. The Wheeler Centre’s writer in residence is Tony Birch.
Tony has been blogging regularly at globalweatherstations.com, alongside the other writers involved in the project –Jas Kapela, Mirko Bonné, Oisin McGann and Xiaolu Guo. From Monday 21 April to Monday 12 May, all five writers undertook a residency together in Australia – including several discussions held at the Wheeler Centre. Videos will be produced and posted here soon.
Still to come: in collaboration with some of Victoria’s young citizens, Tony will explore the wide-ranging implications of climate change on future generations. And the writers will undertake further residencies in the home countries of participating Weather Stations partners.
Find out more about Weather Stations at our project page.