While we’re really excited over the upcoming Shanghai International Literary Festival that starts this Friday, disappointing news has come in – our favorite China travel writer Peter Hessler, who was due to make an appearance on the Festival’s final day, is no longer attending.
According to one festival organizer, Tina Kanagaratnam of AsiaMedia, Shanghai is not the only city losing out on Hessler’s presence since his appearances at literary festivals in Beijing and Hong Kong this month have also been called off due to “personal reasons”.
If you have tickets for Hessler’s Shanghai session, Mypiao should be contacting you soon about refunds or exchanges. Refunds can be collected from the Mypiao office in Room 505, Hua Ding Building, 2368 Zhongshan Xi Lu in Xujiahui, or from the M on the Bund ticket office during the Lit Fest.
A reader has speculated that the cancellation is due to “juicy details” in Hessler’s new China travelogue Country Driving resulting in a visa rejection, but last week Hessler also canceled an appearance back in the States. His February 28 talk in his hometown of Columbia, Missouri was also called off, reasons unknown. Hopefully, this isn’t a continuing trend and that he and his wife Leslie T. Chang (author of Factory Girls: From Village to City in a Changing China) will be able to make it to our shores later this year.