2020 Seoul International Writers' Festival urges now is the time to read

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2020 Seoul International Writers' Festival urges now is the time to read

Writer Hwang Sok-yong delivers the opening remark for the 2020 Seoul International Writers' Festival. [SEOUL INTERNATIONAL WRITERS' FESTIVAL]

Writer Hwang Sok-yong delivers the opening remark for the 2020 Seoul International Writers' Festival. [SEOUL INTERNATIONAL WRITERS' FESTIVAL]

 
Now is the time to read — this is the message being spread around Korea as a host of literary events have been added to the calendar. This week is all about the 2020 Seoul International Writers’ Festival.
 
The festival that started in 2006 takes Seoul as its stage to offer a chance for local writers and readers to meet talents from overseas.
 
It not only educates local readers on global trends, but also provides local writers a chance to expand their presence overseas.
 
So far 217 writers, including locals and others from a total of 54 different countries, have participated in the event over the past 11 years.
 
This year, the writers' festival takes the theme of “Writing Tomorrow,” and discusses how people in the past imagined the future as well as what people now think will be the scenes of tomorrow. 
 

“Through this writers’ festival, we will show the power of literature and how it's consoled the global population that is getting tired from the prolonged pandemic,” said Kim Sa-in, president of the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.
 
For this year’s event, 11 writers from 11 countries as well as 14 Korean writers are participating.
 
Paolo Giordano of Italy, Luis Eduardo García of Mexico, Olivier Guez of France, Gwee Li Sui of Singapore, Iman Mersal of Egypt, Chigozie Obioma of Nigeria, Brigitte Oleschinski of Germany, Oyamada Hiroko of Japan, Kim Thuy of Canada, Wang Weilian of China and Jeffrey Yang of the United States are the global talents.
 
Hwang Sok-yong, author of “The Guest,” alongside Cho Hae-jin, Chung Se-rang and Hwang In-chan are some of the participating Korean talents.
 
Giordano of Italy, who became the youngest winner of the Premio Strega Literary Award with his first novel “The Solitude of Prime Numbers” when he was 25, will share his thoughts on the changes that have come about due to the coronavirus.
 
His ideas will be further introduced in the closing lecture on Sunday, the last day of the festival, alongside Chung Se-rang, author of “Dream, Dream, Dream."
 
Writer Hwang Sok-yong kicked off the festival with his speech, and since then lectures and talks have been available every day at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. during which writers share their thoughts on ongoing social issues and their own works.
 
All the events are being held online. Meetings with international writers are either pre-recorded or streamed live for the festival.
 
BY LEE SUN-MIN   [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]
 
The Seoul International Writers’ Festival 2020 runs online until Sunday. Those who want to watch events, go to www.siwf.or.kr.  
 

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