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Sun Wei travels to Aotearoa for residency

Michael King Writers Centre

New Zealand China Friendship Society – Rewi Alley Fellowship

Media Release

10 September 2019

Sun Wei travels to Aotearoa for residency

Sun Wei has been selected as the fourth Chinese writer to travel to Aotearoa for an eight week residency at the Michael King Writers Centre. Shanghai born and bred, Sun Wei is a former journalist, documentary filmmaker, and corporate general manager. She has published 23 books including novels, a novella collection and two short story collections.

Her novels have won dozens of awards, including the Excellence Award of Chinese Writers’ Erdos National Literature Award, Excellence Award Winner for Novella of Beijing Literature Excellence Awards for Literature Works. Her novel The Map of Time was a best-seller in China in 2017.

Her novels The Map of Time and Person in a Bottle are in the process of being adapted into TV series and movies by the director Zhang Yibai, who is a representative of sixth generation directors in China. Her short story Good Luck is in the process of being adapted into a movie.

This opportunity is available through a partnership between the Michael King Writers Centre, the New Zealand China Friendship Society, the Shanghai Writers’ Association and the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Previous writers were Huo Yan in 2013, a young writing star from Beijing who took up the first Rewi Alley Fellowship. Acclaimed novelist Xiao Bai from Shanghai and Yin Jian Ling, a poet, essayist, novelist and literary critic, enjoyed the residency in 2015 and 2017. Alison Wong was the first New Zealand writer selected to join the international writers’ programme in Shanghai (2014), followed by Heidi North Bailey in 2016 and Frances Edmond last year.

Michael King Writers Centre Chair, Melanie Laville-Moore, says that the exchange with China ‘is an outstanding opportunity to strengthen the international ties and to broaden the diversity of experience enjoyed at the Signalman’s House. That in return a New Zealand writer is able to experience the same warm hospitality in Shanghai makes the programme all the more compelling’.

George Andrews, Vice President North, NZ China Friendship Society said ‘Of all our four Rewi Alley Fellows Wei has been the most excited about taking up the residency. She told us New Zealand is her ‘Dreamland’, high praise given she has taken up residencies in eight countries since 2011. Sun Wei has set herself a target of writing 52 interconnecting stories that take place in different parts of the world. She’s already written nine.

Branches around the country are looking forward to hosting her when she explores New Zealand for a month after completing her residency at the end of October’.


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