Salar Abdoh, Joshua Samuel Brown, Christian Kracht, Irene Hsiao, and Kim Leine, moderated by Shobha Rao
“There is no Frigate like a Book / To take us Lands away,” wrote Emily Dickinson, who rarely left her own house. In this panel, Irene Hsiao carries you to Taiwan through poetry, essays, and photography. Salar Abdoh’s novel leads you into contemporary Iran. In a satiric novel, Kracht brings you to a mythical coconut colony in New Guinea. Kim Leine spirits you to Greenland in 1787. Through the art of guidebooks, Joshua Samuel Brown reveals Asia and more—making our Planet a little less Lonely.
Salar Abdoh was born in Iran, and splits his time between Tehran and New York City, where he is co-director of the Creative Writing MFA Program at the City College of New York. He is the author of The Poet Game: A Novel and Opium. His essays and short stories have appeared in various publications, including the New York Times, BOMB, Callaloo, Guernica, La Régle du Jeu, Drawbridge, and the BBC. He is the recipient of the NYFA Prize and the National Endowment for the Arts award.
Joshua Samuel Brown
Joshua Samuel Brown found his literary muse in Taiwan, as evidenced by his first solo collection, "Vignettes of Taiwan," and his upcoming novel "Spinning Karma" (a Buddhist comedy in which Taiwan is a major character). Brown has authored or co-authored thirteen travel guides for Lonely Planet (including two on Taiwan) and is a regular contributor to its website and "Best in Travel" series. His illustrated book of short stories "How Not To Avoid Jet Lag & other tales of travel madness" is available as an e-book. When not writing, Brown leads custom tours in Taiwan and throughout the United States.
Irene Hsiao is a writer and dancer. Her book of photography and text, "Letter from Taipei, was published in 2014." Hsiao's essays and poems have appeared in Los Angeles Review of Books, SF Weekly, KQED Arts, Bay Area Reporter, Newcity, Cambridge Quarterly, Victorian Poetry, Multi-Ethnic Literature of the US, Literary Imagination, Modern Philology, Word Riot, elimae, A Clean Well-Lighted Place, and Sweet, as well as in the book "Peter Pan In and Out of Time." She has been awarded the Louis Martz Prize by the William Carlos Williams Society and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. As a dancer she has appeared with many organizations, including Kinetech Arts, Winifred Haun & Dancers, Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement, and Lenora Lee Dance, among others. A Regents’ Scholar at UC Berkeley, she earned a double B.A. in English and Molecular and Cell Biology and won the Chauncey Wetmore Wells Critical Essay Prize. She holds a Ph.D. in English literature from the University of Chicago.
Swiss journalist and novelist Christian Kracht's 13 books have been translated into 27 languages. His most recent novel, "Imperium: A Fiction of the South Seas," was the recipient of the 2012 Wilhelm Raabe literature prize. Kracht's previous novels include "Faserland," "1979," and "I Will Be Here in Sunshine and in Shadow."
Kim Leine, who lives in Denmark, has won the Nordic Council Literature Prize and the Danish booksellers' Golden Laurel award. His books have been published all around the world; his most recent novel is "Prophets of Eternal Fjord," about which Le Monde wrote "...politics, history, sexuality, and religion are always interwoven. The combination is perfectly balanced, fascinating, and irresistible.”
Shobha Rao's first book is "An Unrestored Woman," a collection of stories that stretch from India and Pakistan to the United States, Italy, and England, where they explore the ramifications of the violent uprooting of families. Rao moved to the U.S. from India at the age of seven. She is the winner of the 2014 Katherine Anne Porter Prize in Fiction, awarded by Nimrod International Journal. She has been a resident at Hedgebrook and is the recipient of the Elizabeth George Foundation fellowship. Her story "Kavitha and Mustafa" was chosen by T.C. Boyle for inclusion in the Best American Short Stories 2015.