Irish short story writer Claire Keegan, renowned Chinese literary editor Cheng Yongxin, poet and literary critic Tang Xiaodu, Mozambican novelista, poet and cultural activist Deusa d’África, Portuguese film director Sofia Leite and a number of local and international performing arts acts are among the latest additions to the Macau Literary Festival calendar. The 6th edition of Macau’s largest literary event takes place from 4–19 March 2017.
The first-ever female Tony winner for Best Direction of a Play (Beauty Queen of Leenane, Broadway, 1998), Galway native and founder of Druid Theatre Company Garry Hynes joins The Script Road – Macau Literary Festival.
Claire Keegan, an Irish writer known for her award-winning short stories, will also attend the Festival. Her first collection of short stories, Antarctica (1998), announced her as an exceptionally gifted and versatile writer of contemporary fiction. Her work began being translated into Chinese in 2011 and since then has enjoyed a warm reception from Chinese literary critics.
From Mozambique, The Script Road hosts Deusa d’África — nom de plume of Dércia Sara Feliciano — a young novelist, poet, and a cultural activist, born in 1988, and strongly influenced by the generation of writers from Gaza province who founded the magazine Xitende in the 1990s. Deusa d’África is currently Coordinator of the Xitende Cultural Association. She was awarded the Brazilian International Literary Competition’s ALPAS 21 Prize in 2011 and 2012 for her poetry book A Voz das Minhas Entranhas and short story collection O Limpopo das Nossas Vidas. Some of her poems have been translated into Sweedish.
Also accepting the Festival’s invitation this year is Harvest magazine Editor-in-Chief Cheng Yongxin. Known by his pen name, Li Cheng, he is one of the most famous literary editors in contemporary China. In the 1980s he published special, young author editions of Harvest that helped launch the careers of writers including Yu Hua (also one of this year’s Macau Literary Festival guest authors), Mo Yan, Su Tong and Ge Fei — today considered among the cream of the crop in contemporary Chinese literature.
Another Festival guest from China is poet and literary critic Tang Xiaodu, a senior editor at The Writers Publishing House and Editor-in-Chief of The Contemporary International Poetry.
The Festival also welcomes Portuguese journalist and film director Sofia Leite, who will present her documentary Cesária Évora: Nha Sentimento (2010) about the internationally acclaimed Cape Verdean singer, along with another of her films, A Lista de Chorin, the true story of Portuguese diplomats Sampaio Garrido and Teixeira Branquinho, credited with saving the lives of hundreds of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary during World War II, while serving as Portugal’s ambassador and chargé d’affaires in Budapest in 1944.
From the very start, The Script Road has been an advocate for the performing arts, providing a platform where innovative artistic excellence and creativity engage with literature.
Now in its 6th season, the Macau Literary Festival is proud to host The Three Ladies of Macao (3LM), a play created by the Department of English at the University of Macau (UM). Conceived in Canada and written in Macau, 3LM draws inspiration from the idea of allegory in Robert Wilson’s The Three Ladies of London. An original play made in Macau, about Macau, and set in a 1960s Macau, it will be presented in the UM’s Black Box Theatre, where the 13-strong, international cast — all members of the University of Macau — will perform more than 20 roles. 3LM’s promoters said of the play: “In a Macau where churches thrive alongside brothels and lust trumps morality, and where Lucre’s expanding power terrorises and manipulates her peers, her followers and her fellow residents, one can still see the city’s inherent, simple goodness.”
The Festival also presents the poetry multimedia performance Das Palavras, by Portuguese theatre company d’As Entranhas – Colectivo Teatral founded by Vera Paz and Ricardo Moura in 1999. Das Palavras premièred on World Poetry Day in 2007 at the invitation of Portuguese musician and composer Rodrigo Leão. Poetry by the Portuguese author Al Berto plays a thematic role in Das Palavras. The poetry multimedia performance, which merges words, sound and images, also includes texts by other authors such as Sophia de Mello Breyner, Eugénio de Andrade, Alexandre O’Neill and Adília Lopes.
Portuguese visual artist António-Pedro, a resident of Macau from 1994 to 1997, brings his video-performance My Macau to the Script Road, set “somewhere between the past and the present”.
Also participating on the Festival lineup is João Miguel Barros, a Macau-based Portuguese lawyer and photographer who will feature his work in an exhibition titled “Between Gaze and Hallucination”.
ABOUT THE MACAU LITERARY FESTIVAL
The 6th edition of the Macau Literary Festival will take place from 4–19 March 2017 and will be based at the Old Court Building — a former Government office erected in 1951 and located in the city centre — where a book fair will remain open throughout the event. A new anthology of short stories about Macau, published in three languages (Chinese, Portuguese and English), will be released during the Festival.
The Script Road – Macau Literary Festival was founded in 2012 by local newspaper Ponto Final — a periodical currently celebrating its 25th anniversary — and is based in the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR). The Festival began as the first and largest gathering of literati from China and the Portuguese-Speaking Countries ever organised in the world. In recent years, the Festival has gained in popularity, becoming an international event that welcomes renowned writers, publishers, translators, journalists, musicians, filmmakers and visual artists from various geographies and nationalities. The 2016 edition of the Macau Literary Festival brought together authors of 12 nationalities, including US writer Adam Johnson, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his 2012 novel The Orphan Master’s Son. In 2017, the Festival gathers more than 60 guests from over 20 regions and countries, among them two Man Booker Prize 2016 finalists.
The Macau Literary Festival has the support of the MSAR Government and Macau Foundation, as well as that of several private entities including the Festival’s Platinum Sponsor: SJM – Sociedade de Jogos de Macau. A number of private companies, local associations, schools and universities also support the literary event. The Diplomatic Missions of some of the countries represented by writers attending the Festival have also lent their support to The Script Road.