12.30pm-2.00pm, Monday 31 August 2015
The Singapore Theatre (Room B120), Melbourne School of Design, University of Melbourne
Murong Xuecun is the pen name of the Chinese writer Hao Qun. A prominent social critic, he is known for his defence of freedom of expression. He had 8.5 million followers on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, before censors shut down his accounts in May 2013. Since then, he has published on freedom, language and the internet in Xi Jinping’s China in The New York Times,The Atlantic Monthly and Griffith Review. Born in 1974 in Jilin Province, Murong Xuecun studied law at the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, graduating in 1996. In 2001, he started to write fiction on a company bulletin board, using the pen name Murong Xuecun. His debut novel Leave Me Alone: A Novel of Chengdu, published online in 2002, became a cult hit among young, middle-class Chinese readers looking for writing that pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable literature. The book was subsequently published in print, with more than one million copies sold. It has been translated into English, French, German, Portuguese and Vietnamese. Murong Xuecun’s 2008 novel, Dancing Through Red Dust, delved into the secretive world of China’s legal system. Murong Xuecun has also written short-story collections and narrative nonfiction, notably “The Missing Ingredient,” a work of undercover investigative reporting on a pyramid scheme, which was awarded a People’s Literature Prize in 2010.
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