a brief encounter

One late afternoon I walk past Wheatfield Bookstore and notice a black and white poster on the window billing a literary festival in Kunming. There are snapshots of the writers running across the top of the poster. The first writer is Yu Jian, one of China’s bestselling contemporary Chinese poets.

A week later I am reading Yu Jian's  'A Brief Encounter.'  I walk pass Wheatfield Bookstore, stop and look at the same poster on the window and then meet, quite unexpectedly, the author. I can’t remember what we said, but there was no awkwardness or affectation, only an exchange of literary ideas, a love of words, and poetic phrases. And then we fell silent, letting the words hang between us.

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