The London Book Fair 2023 recently took place at the Olympia London exhibition centre, attracting over 30,000 attendees from across the world who came to experience one of the world’s largest book fairs. More than 200 Chinese delegates from publishing houses and corporations exhibited thousands of copies of Chinese books. The event provided a platform for book enthusiasts and professionals to discover and explore publishing industry and market trends, and it became a highly anticipated gathering for the publishing industry.
During the three-day book fair, the organizers and exhibitors hosted over 100 seminar sessions, including talks by writers, publishers, and translators, as well as book signings and networking opportunities for professionals. One of the highlights was the two special corners set up to showcase Xue Mo’s boutique novels: one at booth 7G30, the China International Communications Group (CICG), and the other at booth 7A39, the China International Book Trading Corporation (CIBTC). In addition, a themed exhibit titled “Everyone Enters Their Own Desert: Xue Mo and His Light” was held at booth 7A44, the Ruxue International Media’s booth. Xue Mo’s book, “Into the Desert,” was adapted and co-translated by Howard Goldblatt, a well-known translator of Chinese literature, and Dr. Sylvia Li-Chun Lin, his wife. The book contains the story of two women in Western China, on the edge of the Gobi Desert near the site of the Silk Road. Bound together by poverty and tradition, they embark on a perilous journey to change their lives. The author captures the essence of the culture, life, and spirit of the region, giving global readers a unique glimpse into the mysterious cultural landscape of Western China.
Xue Mo made his debut appearance at the London Book Fair. He told the media that he had been preparing for his participation in the London Book Fair for three years, not for the purpose of exporting copyright, but to broaden his horizons. As a Chinese writer, he believes that it is essential to understand how far the world’s publishing industry, books, and literature have come in order to enhance our own cognition. He thinks that it is crucial to step out and explore the world to bridge the gap between ourselves and the rest of the world.
Xue Mo was invited as a keynote speaker at the seminar to dialogue with international experts and overseas scholars, exploring how literature bears witness to female power, and exchanging views on such topics as female love, wisdom, and self-enlightenment.
According to Xue Mo, human nature represents the power of love and wisdom. He believes that “humanity includes two kinds, one is divinity and the another is animality; women represent the aspect of divinity. If the power of women prevails in society, the world will be peaceful and beautiful.”
Xue Mo has published a corpus of 105 literary works and cultural studies in Chinese. Since their publication, his Selected Stories by Xue Mo has been translated into over 20 different languages, including English, German, Korean, and Swedish, among others. Notably, the English version was translated by the UK-based prize-winning sinologist and translator Nicky Harman. In 2020, its Sinhala version won the National Literature Award in Sri Lanka.
At Frankfurt Book Fair 2022, Xue Mo ranked No.1 on the list of Top Topics in International Media, outshining the Spanish Guest of Honour and becoming the most talked-about figure. “Xue Mo” and his works were covered by more than 2,000 media outlets, including The Associated Press, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Based on the statistical analysis of media presence conducted by Meltwater, the top 10 print and online media coverage related to “Xue Mo” potentially reached over 1 billion people. Today, the fascinating Chinese stories penned by novelist Xue Mo are gradually becoming hot topics for academic research in the domain of world literature.
Gareth Rapley, Director of The London Book Fair, expressed his delight about the successful event, saying, “What a wonderful fair it has been. We are thrilled to see attendee figures return to pre-Covid levels, which is a testament to the special place this event holds in showcasing the latest insights and innovations in the publishing calendar. Personally, I had a fantastic experience, and I look forward to building on this momentum in future years and establishing The London Book Fair as the industry’s biggest book and publishing event of the spring.”