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More or less Asian? A debate on stereotypes in literature

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Is there a writing trap for Asians in the UK? Where do you draw the line between writing about what you know versus sensationalising what you know? How do you fight against cultural stereotypes perpetuated by those outside your community (and within)? Finally, is it ok to laugh about it?

Asia House turns its attention to the theme of Asian stereotypes in the written word – what they are and who’s making them. Five distinguished writers will share their own views on the topic as they recount stories of battles and triumphs. Our panel includes:

Bidisha (the chair), author, journalist, broadcaster and Booker Prize Foundation trustee. Writes and talks about gender, race and global human rights but has nothing to say about arranged marriages, terrorism or curry.

Daniel York, actor, director and writer of The Fu Manchu Complex, a hilarious play about racist stereotypes of Chinese people.  Classless classical actor, culturally non-specific writer, amateur activist, un-model member of the model minority. A walking contradiction.

Yasmeen Khan, writer and broadcaster who acts as cultural advisor on Eastenders, specifically advising on the Masood family storylines. Yasmeen is variously described as a playwright, an Asian playwright and a female playwright. When it comes to funding applications, she is quite happy to be all three.

Anna Chen, writer, poet, blogger, broadcaster and first British Chinese comic to take a show to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Niven Govinden, author of several books, including the just published All the Days and Nights (signed copies will be available to purchase on the night). Art should transcend stereotypes.

More or less Asian? also sees the announcement of the prestigious Asia House Bagri Foundation Student Writing Competition winners, allowing audience members a chance to hear stories from the next generation of writers in the UK.

Spirited debate, creativity and a drinks reception, all in a beautiful townhouse in the heart of central London.

Attendance is free, but a charitable donation is encouraged on the night.

This event is supported by GloBooks, an international fiction review and recommend site, which connects readers with the best fiction from across the globe. Join the conversation on Twitter now.


November 12, 2014
18:45 - 20:00
Event Category:


Asia House


Asia House
63 New Cavendish Street, London, W1G 7LP United Kingdom

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