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McMaster welcomes new International Writer-in-Residence

By Matt Terry, McMaster Daily News
January 22, 2009

The author whose bestselling book created long-lasting shockwaves both inside and outside of China for its investigation of the country's most prominent smuggling case is set to become the next McMaster English and Cultural Studies International Writer-in-Residence.

Sheng Xue, an award winning journalist and author, came to Canada from Beijing after the Tiananmen Square massacre in June 1989 and has since garnered a great deal of attention both in Canada and abroad. In 2000, she was given the Canadian Association of Journalists Award for Investigative Journalism and the National Magazine Award for her investigative report on the lives of Chinese boat refugees published in Maclean's magazine.

A multi-talented writer, in 2001 Xue published her Chinese-language book Unveiling the Yuan Hua Case, which quickly became a bestseller in Chinese communities outside of China but was banned in her native country. Also an accomplished poet, Xue has hundreds of works of poetry and prose to her name, including The Bloody Morning and Light up a Candle Please, collected in the book Poetry and Tank.

Much sought after for her opinion on sociopolitical issues, Xue has been a regular commentator for the global Chinese TV network NTDTV since 2002 and since 2005 has been the North American correspondent for Deutsche Welle (Voice of Germany).

The International Writer-in-Residence program is organized in conjunction with PEN Canada, an independent, non-profit organization that aids writers in exile and is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. The program helps to develop local talent and puts the McMaster community in touch with some of the most exciting writing being produced around the world today.

McMaster will officially welcome Xue at a public reception on Thursday, January 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the University Club.

McMaster is honored to have Sheng Xue on campus and looks forward to working with her in developing the skills of budding writers and journalists. Xue will be on campus Monday to Thursday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Chester New Hall, room 212. To contact Xue, call the Writer-in-Residence office at 905-525-9140, ext. 23740.

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