The Shambaugh House on Clinton Street on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017. The house is the home to the International Writing Program. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

The world writes back with guest authors in Shambaugh House reading


By Tong Tong

On Friday, Yan Chung-hsien and Fujino Kaori will share their work with the university community. As a way to bring the world of literature closer, the International Writing Program brings some the best writers from around the world to Iowa City.

Fujino is one of most important writers in Japan working today; she has received the prestigious Bungakukai Prize in 2006 and Akutagawa Prize in 2013.

She is pegged as a horror writer, but her fiction is influenced by all kinds of storytelling in the world: Hollywood action films, fairy tales, and urban legends, just to name a few. Most of her stories have their own worlds, and each is different from the others.

Fujino’s writing is not restricted to the stereotypes of Japanese literature, and it expands beyond the world of literature in Japan.

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“People love to stereotype Japan and Japanese literature, but the truth is, the Japanese literary scene is one of the world’s largest and most sophisticated, and they are influenced by so many different things from around the world,” said Kendall Heitzman, a University of Iowa assistant professor of Asian & Slavic languages and literature.

He was also excited about Fujino’s visit to Iowa City so readers can see for themselves how unpredictable and trilling that Japanese literature can be.

The other author featured will be Yan, who works on diversity of areas. Aside from his literary work, he is also an art critic, a curator, designer, and director. He has focused on a “cross-disciplinary approach that integrates the verbal with the visual and the traditional with the avant garde,” the IWP website said.

Yan’s work has won a Taiwan Gold Book novel award, a Taipei Literature Award, and an Asia Weekly Book Award.

Shambaugh House Reading Series

Where: Shambaugh House

When: 5 p.m. Friday

Cost: Free

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