Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bringing History to Life: Hong Kong Book Fair

A great talk, covering Vikings, Anglo-Saxons, Perspectives on China, and the differences between Fiction and CNF

Interview: Wall Street Journal

Justin Hill is something of an anomaly: He’s an English writer, based in Hong Kong, who has garnered international acclaim.

Two of his novels, “The Drink and Dream Teahouse” and “Passing Under Heaven,” were nominated for the Man Booker Prize, and he’s won a Somerset Maugham Award, a Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize and a Thomas Cook Travel Book Award shortlist placement for his writing.

Before coming to Hong Kong four years ago, Mr. Hill spent nearly 15 years living in and writing about China. The subjects of his works have included his experiences and observations as a young volunteer in the fast-changing Shanxi province, the life of female Chinese poet Yu Xuanji and the small African state of Eritrea.

His latest, “Shieldwall,” released in May, is a historical novel set in 11th-century England, shortly before the Norman Conquest. The book received glowing reviews from critics at publications such as the Sunday Times and Guardian for its historical accuracy and gripping battle scenes.

Read full interview Here

By Patrick Brzeski

Review: The Australian

Work of English historical fiction re-creates land fit for Saxon heroes George Williams

Shieldwall comes as a pleasant surprise. Hill has written about events usually passed over in favour of more well-known times. Moreover, he has done so with obvious passion and in a manner that is evocative and at times almost poetic in catching the mood of the era.

This book is an undoubted success both as a work of fiction and as a tale of history. It gives a stirring and well-researched insight into the disasters, mishaps and treachery that made life in 11th-century Saxon England such a misery.

The author has not told the whole story of the events leading up to 1066. There is obviously much more to come. Indeed, Shieldwall is planned as the first in a Conquest Trilogy. The next two books will certainly be welcome.

Read Full Article here