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August 11, 2020

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Writers on the menu at book fair event

The Writer’s Gourmet Menu, a Shanghai Book Fair project which combines reading with Chinese cuisine, was launched yesterday. Chats with seven domestic authors at the dining table will go online each day of the upcoming seven-day event.

The authors will cover topics such as history, culture, science fiction, detective stories, fashion, gourmet food and lifestyles with guests, mostly writers, experts and scholars, at seven local restaurants.

The restaurants all specialize in different styles of cooking, and include the Park Hotel on Nanjing Road W. and traditional Chinese style restaurant Lubolang in Yuyuan Garden.

The organizers — Shanghai Literature and Art Publishing House and local tourism marketing service provider Destination Partner — worked with the city’s culture and tourism authority to design author-themed menus and lists of selected literature and food-related books.

The restaurants will have a section for reading and “grab bags” with coupons and products will be provided at local restaurants and bookstores.

Xu Jiong, head of the city’s press and publication administration, said the project is a key part of the book fair’s exploration of how to integrate with different industries and attract more people to reading.

Talking about relationships between writer and table, Xu said, some people might think of the Havana bistro of American writer Ernest Hemingway, now a place of pilgrimage for literature lovers. Or The Elephant House cafe in Edinburgh where JK Rowling wrote some of the first Harry Potter books.

Eily Liu, president of Destination Partner, said it has the Shanghai Food Festival and the press and publication administration has the Shanghai Book Fair. The two sides had worked together to see if the events could be connected. They came up with the The Writer’s Gourmet Menu project.


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