Visit of the Prize-winning Writer Sarah Laing
Upon the invitation of the New Zealand Centre at PKU, the Prize-winning New Zealand writer Sarah Laing visited Peking University on Mar. 12, 2011 and talked on “How to Write” at a seminar co-organized by both the NZ Centre and the Office of International Relations at PKU. Ms. Alexandra Grace, Counsellor of Education at the New Zealand Embassy to China, was also invited to attend the seminar. Professor Liu Shusen, Director of the NZ Center, presided over the seminar. Over forty faculty members and students attended the seminar.
Sarah Laing expressed her gratitude for the invitation and shared with the audience her growing experiences, her love for fiction and fiction writing as well as the characters, settings, and scenes she has characterized in her works. “The greatest benefit of writing lies in that it provokes our thinking about what is the most important thing in our lives,” said Sarah Laing to her audience.
The students were interested in not only Sarah Laing’s personal ambition and experiences as writer but also in talking about the values and significance of literature in the contemporary age of fast changes that have marginalized literature. Sarah Laing concluded: “Writing could also help us find out our career orientations through constant thinking and thus, distinguish ourselves and make a difference.”
About the guest:
Sarah Laing, born in 1973 in the United States, is a New Zealand fiction writer and graphic designer. Her first collection of short stories, Coming up Roses, was published in 2007, and followed by her win of the 2006 Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition. She illustrated the book Macaroni Moon (2009) and in the same year published the novel, Dead People’s Music, which is set in Wellington and New York. Sarah Laing was a Michael King Writers Center Writer in Residence in 2008. She shared the 2010 Buddle Findlay Sargeson Fellowship with Sonja Yelich. She is now working in the Sargeson Centre, Auckland, to write her upcoming novel White Light.