An Evening With Xue Xinran

xue xinran

The opening night of the Asia House Literature Festival started off tonight with a wonderful conversation with the acclaimed author and journalist, Xue Xinran, who has a new book, Buy Me the Sky, out now.

Xinran has an incredible talent of explaining Chinese culture through her many books and she spoke very frankly in conversation with Isabel Hilton. One particularly harrowing account was of how Chinese society appears to be descending into protection of oneself to the detriment of others: Xinran told us of a man who ran over a woman in his car and then stabbed her to death because he didn’t want her to testify against him.

We also discussed whether Confucius principles held China back from progress and development, although his principles still seem to be surviving especially in the discipline of Chinese children.

We learnt that Chinese students will “understand before they think”…. Because they are so conditioned from a young age with various rules, such as not questioning authority and older age, a Chinese student is very unlikely to ask any questions in class!  Obviously this is changing with new generations but it was still a fascinating concept.

There was a great enlightening moment when we concluded that perhaps China understands the west more than the west understands China.

There are more wonderful events to come, you can see the programme and buy tickets directly from Asia House.




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