Four Asian authors you won’t want to miss at the Vancouver Writers Fest

The Vancouver Writers Fest brings a diverse group of talented authors from across the globe to Vancouver, where they delight audiences with discussions, readings and performances. 

The literary world, like so many other industries, has long been plagued with accusations about a lack of representation. Roxanne Gay famously documented that 655 out the 742 books featured in the New York Times book review section in 2011 were written by Caucasian authors. 

In contrast, the Vancouver Writers Fest actively seeks to remedy the common thread of privilege running through literary circles by detailing their dedication to inclusivity at the event and showcasing a wonderfully diverse range of authors — both local and international.  

The festival, which runs from October 21-27, has a roster brimming with brilliant and accomplished authors of colour who will take over Vancouver’s favourite stages and give attendees a glimpse into their hearts and minds. These authors’ events will focus on key issues including immigration and belonging. 

Here are just a few Asian authors to look out for.

Tash Aw

Twice-longlisted for the Booker Prize, Aw is a leading global talent and his new book We, The Survivors is an incisive exploration of class division in modern Asia.

Aw will be appearing at the International Showcase and Tash Aw in Conversation with Eleanor Wachtel.

Author Tash Aw standing in front of a brick wall, looking sideways at the camera
Photo Credit: Graham Jepson

Joanne Ramos

Glowingly praised by O Magazine, Filipina American author Joanne Ramos’ The Farm is taking the literary world by storm.

Verging on dystopian, it imagines a world where lower-class, marginalized individuals sign away their wombs – and a year of their life – to serve the wealthy upper-classes.

Ramos will be appearing at the International Showcase, Politics & Prose and American Women.

Headshot of Filipina American author, Joanne Ramos
Photo Credit: John Dolan

Jenny Heijun Wills

Jenny Heijun Wills’ Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related. is a memoir about how she reconnected with her South Korean birth family, after being raised by a white family in Canada.

Wills will be appearing at A Tribute to Stephen King, The Interviews with Marsha Lederman and Difficult Inheritances.

Author Jenny Heijun Wills standing in front of a brick wall, looking at the camera
Photo Credit: Jill Coubrough

Wu Ming-Yi

One of the most revered Taiwanese contemporary writers, Wu Ming-Yi is a writer, professor, photographer, butterfly scholar and traveller.

Ming-Yi brings all of his eclectic experiences to his absorbing new novel The Stolen Bicycle. His work has been translated into nine languages and compared to that of writers such as Margaret Atwood, Haruki Murakami, David Mitchell and Yann Martel.

Ming-Yi will appear at The Fascinating World(s) of Wu Ming-Yi.

Black-and-white headshot of Wu Ming-Yi
Photo Credit: Chen Meng-Ping

Vancouver Writers Festival
October 21-27, 2019
Various locations
For more information and tickets, click here. Youth under 30 pay $15 per ticket.

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