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LITFEST 2019: The Best Time of the Year

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Merry merry and happy happy from all of us at M…as a special holiday treat, we’re sharing a teaser of what to expect come spring at the Shanghai International Literary Festival 2019 (Remember! Dates areMarch 14-27, 2019).

The full programme will be released on February 15th and, as always, tickets will be sold exclusively on our website.  

You know we’re not going to divulge *everything*, but IF you were going to do some holiday reading, here are a few of our suggestions…wink, wink.

Celebrated science-fiction writer and winner of the Hugo Award, Hao Jingfang’s (郝景芳) Folding Beijing is an absolute must-read.

Award-winning British-Pakistani writer, Nadeem Aslam, considered “one of the most exciting and serious British novelists writing now” just came out with his latest novel, The Golden Legend. We’ve read it…we suggest you do the same.

Qiu Xiaolong’s (裘小龙) long-awaited new addition to the Inspector Chen series: in Shanghai RedemptionInspector Chen Cao finds himself and his reputation being set up for public disgrace, and possibly worse…a suspenseful drama! 

David Abulafia’s The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranen is a, “magnificent and quite stunningly compendious history of the Mediterranean, with a key to unlocking its rich and turbulent past.” A jewel for all of you history buffs!

Equipped with a historian’s inquiring mind, Billy Griffith’s Deep Time Dreaming seeks to understand the extraordinary deep history of the Australian continent. A one-of-a-kind book, highly recommended!

Steve Brusatte, a young American paleontologist who has emerged as one of the foremost stars of the field masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Captivating and revelatory, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs is a book for the ages.” A Litfest Favorite, we can’t wait!

Stay tuned for more information in January…and always check our WeChat for the latest!





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A Call to Writers for the 2019-20 M Literary Residency

Applications for the Residency open on January 1, 2019 and will close on March 31, 2019 midnight GMT. The winner will be announced on May 31st, 2019


The M Residency allows writers with an interest in China to deepen their understanding of this vital and fascinating place. Established in 2009 and fully funded by the M Restaurant Group, the residency has its roots in M’s Shanghai and Beijing Literary Festivals, and aims to foster artistic, cultural and intellectual links between individuals and communities. 

From 2009 to 2016 the residency included one resident in Shanghai and one in India. In 2017, the residency included one resident based in Shanghai and one in Beijing. Since 2018, there has been one resident in Shanghai, China.

For 6-8 weeks in 2019, one writer will have the opportunity to write undisturbed in the heart of this bustling city. The residency is open to writers of prose or poetry, fiction or nonfiction and screenwriting.

Some Of  Our Past Recipients…


To apply, please use our Submittable page For more information regarding the M Literary Residency programme, please visit our official website.

All submissions are due by March 31, 2019 midnight and must be in English or include an English translation.

We’re thrilled to announce the official dates of the Shanghai International Literary Festival. From March 14-27, 2019, the M Restaurant Group will be bringing you the brightest stars of the literary world. 

The full programme will be released on February 4th and tickets will be exclusively sold on our website. Our headliner sessions move fast so make sure to bookmark the ones you’re dying to see and act quickly once tickets go on sale. 

Stay tuned for more information in January…and always check our WeChat for the latest!




Geoff Dyer on White Sands | 2018 Litfest Podcast

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Considered one of Britain’s greatest contemporary writers, Geoff Dyer is the award-winning author of books such as But Beautiful and Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi. In discussing his latest book, White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World, he dealt with the power of memory, his experiences ranging from the Lightning Field in New Mexico to a hunt for Gauguin’s ghost in Tahiti and the question of why we travel.

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Peter Conradi on Who Lost Russia | 2018 Litfest Podcast

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The collapse of the Soviet Union at the end of 1991 appeared to usher in a remarkable new era of peace and co-operation between Moscow and the West. This, we were told, was the end of history: after decades of struggle, the entire world would embrace enlightenment values and liberal democracy. Reality has proved very different, with each US president leaving relations with Russia in a worse state than he found them. Donald Trump, a self-confessed fan of Vladimir Putin, seemed determined to find a way of breaking out of this dead end. Yet, perversely, his arrival in the White House – and the role the Kremlin is accused of playing in facilitating it – has added yet another complication.

Peter Conradi witnessed the end of the Cold War from Moscow.  In his new book, he charts the ups  and – mostly – downs of Russia’s relations with the West in the years since, from Boris Yeltsin’s “time of troubles” to the growing authoritarianism of the Putin era.

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Osamah Sami on Good Muslim Boy | 2018 Litfest Podcast

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A hilarious and heartbreaking story of a young man wrestling with his father’s legacy and what it means to be a ‘good Muslim’, join award winning writer, actor and comedian Osamah Sami in his discussion on his life’s journey.

By the age of 13, Osamah had survived the Iran–Iraq war, peddled fireworks and chewing gum on the Iranian black market, proposed ‘temporary marriage’ not once but three times, and received countless floggings from the Piety Police for trying to hold hands with girls in dark cinemas.

Even in Australia, life has been eventful. He faked a perfect Year 12 score and acceptance into a University of Melbourne medical degree (and got away with it for a whole year) and escaped an arranged marriage by literally running away on his wedding day.

His book Good Muslim Boy received the 2016 NSW Premier’s Literary Award. Osamah co-wrote and starred in Australia’s first Muslim romantic comedy, Ali’s Wedding, which received the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the 2017 Sydney Film Festival.

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Alexander Weinstein on Dystopian AI in Children of the New World | 2018 LitFest Podcast

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Alexander Weinstein’s short story collection, Children of the New World, explores a near-future world of social-media implants, memory manufacturers, dangerously immersive virtual-reality games, and frighteningly intuitive robots. Through the lens of speculative fiction, Weinstein’s stories grapple with our ever-growing dependence on new technologies. The author will read from his collection and discuss the joys and challenges which our modern-day fascination with AI, robots, and cybernetics poses to our present-day relationships, as well as how fiction might help us build a better future.

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Charlotte Wood & Sheng Keyi on Women in Dystopian Novels | 2018 LitFest Podcast

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When repression intrudes into a society by degrees, it is felt first by the powerless of that society: its poor, its minorities, its women. The rights of the defenseless are the first to be compromised – but the process rarely stops there. Tonight’s authors have both envisioned, in allegorical or imagined form, the dangers of repression: what might have been; what has already happened; what might yet be. Charlotte Wood’s most recent novel, The Natural Way of Things, winner of the 2016 Stella Prize, imagines a near future where subtle misogyny has festered to the bursting point. Sheng Keyi’s Death Fugue, published in Australia in 2014, is a more overt dystopia, but one in which the female body is again one of the primary targets of control. Hear them discuss the present, the future, and their own visions of hope.

Moderated by Eric Abrahamsen.

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