Talking Non-Fiction in China
I recently attended a remarkable conference on narrative non-fiction in Beijng and came away impressed....
The conference was held at Beijing Normal University and sponsored by Horizon Salon, a small think tank devoted to improving non-fiction writing in China. About 100 people showed up for the three-hour series of talk. I participated in the last session, a round-table and gave my candid views on writing for the New Yorker, New York Review of Books, and others.
Despite problems of censorship, this is a really promising field in China, part of which I discussed in an article last year in the New York Review of Books, which you can view unpaywalled here. Writers are eager to use sociological-style survey techniques and literary writing styles in the mold of Peter Hessler to dig deeply into sensitive--but not taboo--topics in China, like migration, poverty, education, and the environment.