It was a stellar, star-studded weekend at Glam for the first days of Litfest 2019. There was hardly a bare chair in sight, with Christopher Doyle, Tess Johnston and the FT Debate leaving standing room only.
The beloved local novelist delved into the private lives and secret idiosyncrasies of Shanghai residents in the 1950s in conversation with his friend Qiu Xiaolong and Austin Woerner. The conversationalists’ excitement at Jin Yucheng’s own illustrations of his changing, fictional Shanghai was palpable as they sprang between English and Chinese in an effort to explain it all to their audience.
For Saturday’s closing session, Chris Doyle spoke to a wrapt audience about his relationship to the camera, the actors and his audience in an unprecedented hour long encore.
You never know who will be in the crowd… we even had a special audience member Barry Jenkins, director and writer of Oscar-Winning film ‘Moonlight’…
Ever a Litfest favourite, Tess Johnston returned on Sunday morning to speak about the life of Daisy Kwok, daughter of a wealthy Shanghai family and survivor of the turmoils of 20th Century China.
Another Litfest alumn, Man Booker Prizing winning author Alan Hollinghurst returned on Sunday to speak about his new novel, The Sparsholt Affair. Not least amongst the highlights were the sections he read aloud in his famously mellifluous baritone. Keep an eye open for the Podcasts, out in a few weeks…
FT Great Debate
The weekend ended in another iteration of the riotous FT Great Debate, with this year’s teams grappling with the motion: Is Brexit Best for Britain? Perhaps the votes were unsurprising, but the debate was full of thrilling twists and argumentative acrobatics by the brilliant FT correspondents.