China Australia Literary Forum

29 August – 2 September 2011

Ten prominent Chinese writers visited Sydney for in-depth discussions with Australian authors, and those involved in the translation and reception of their works, as part of a China Australia Literary Forum hosted by the Writing and Society Research Group. The symposium considered the critical issues that define contemporary Chinese and Australian writing, and worked towards determining the grounds on which we might exchange ideas and skills in the future.

Nicholas Jose, Mo Yan and Ivor Indyk
Topics for discussion included Writing Across Borders, Contemporary Approaches to Literature, The Writer and Tradition, The Role of the Writer and A Sense of Place. Chinese participants included novelists Zhang Wei (The Ancient Ship) and Mo Yan (Red Sorghum), new fiction writers Li Er (The Magician of 1919) and Sheng Keyi (Northern Girls), screen writer Zhaxi Dawa and poet Gao Hongbo. Australian participants included Judith Beveridge, Kim Cheng Boey,  Lisa Gorton, Ivor Indyk, Gail Jones, Nicholas Jose, Julia Leigh, Shane Maloney, John Mateer, Michael Wilding, Ouyang Yu and Alexis Wright.

View a Chinese translation of this page. See the full program. See the event flyer.

Nobel Prize Winning Author

Congratulations to CALF participant Mo Yan (pictured below, far right) who has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature. Mo Yan is the first Chinese citizen to win the Nobel Prize. Mo Yan's Nobel prize reflects the importance of cross-cultural literary exchange and translation.

Launch of Carpentaria in China

Carpentaria Translation

We are please to announce that the China Australia Literary Forum has led to the translation of Alexis Wright's Novel Carpentaria, which was launched on 12 March 2012 at the Australian Embassy in China. Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan wrote the introduction to the translation and spoke at the launch alongside Australian Ambassador to China Ms Francis Adamson, the President of the Writers' Association of China Ms Tie Ning and translator Li Yao. Congratulations to Li Yao and Alexis.


CALF is supported by the Literature Board of the Australia Council, Copyright Agency Limited, Australia-China Council, Chinese Writers' Association and Chinese Ministry of Culture, as part of the Year of Chinese Culture in Australia.

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