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Bookmark and ShareMadeline Thien and Peter Ho DaviesMadeline Thien
and Peter Ho Davies


NYS Writers Institute, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
4:15 p.m. Seminar, Standish Room, Science Library, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading,Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, Albany


The NYS Writers Institute will present a reading with novelists Madeleine Thien and Peter Ho Davies on Tuesday, October 3, at 8:00 p.m. in the Huxley Theatre, NYS Museum, Cultural Education Center, in downtown Albany. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m., Thien and Davies will lead an informal seminar in the Standish Room, Science Library on the UAlbany uptown campus. Free and open to the public, the events are cosponsored by the NYS Writers Institute, NYS Office of Cultural Education, and the Friends of the New York State Library.

The NYS Writers Institute will present award-winning novelists Madeleine Thien and Peter Ho Davies on Tuesday, October 3.

Do Not Say We Have NothingMadeleine Thien is celebrated for fiction that explores the surprising histories of people living in the Chinese Diaspora. Her newest novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016), begins with these lines: “In a single year, my father left us twice. The first time, to end his marriage, and the second, when he took his own life.” Set in both Canada and China, it tells the story of three musicians in China before, during and after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

Do Not Say We Have Nothing received Canada’s highest literary honor, the Governor General’s Award, and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. In a New York Times review, Jennifer Senior wrote, “The larger saga unfurls like silk — and proves similarly resistant to knots, a testament to Ms. Thien’s storytelling skills.”

Dogs at the Perimeter, her acclaimed 2012 novel about a Canadian survivor of Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime, will be re-released in a new U.S. edition in October 2017. Her novels and stories have been translated into 25 languages.

The FortunesPeter Ho Davies’ new novel, The Fortunes (2016), examines the diverse experiences of four Chinese-Americans — a railroad baron’s valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor, Hollywood’s first Chinese movie star, a hate-crime victim whose death mobilizes Asian-Americans, and a bi-racial writer visiting China for an adoption -- over the course of the previous century.

Joyce Carol Oates praised The Fortunes “a prophetic work, with passages of surpassing beauty… a boldly imagined work of fiction in which historic figures…come to an astonishingly vivid, visceral life.” The novel received the Anisfield-Wolf Award and Chautauqua Prize, and was named a Best Book of 2016 by NPR, Publishers Weekly, Indie Next, and the New York Times. Born in Britain to Welsh and Chinese parents, Davies is also the author of the novel The Welsh Girl (2007), which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and two short story collections, The Ugliest House in the World (winner of the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize) and Equal Love (A New York Times Notable Book).

Booklist calls The Welsh Girl “a beautifully written story of life and love on the outskirts of the warThis first novel by Davies, author of two highly praised short story collections, has been anticipated -- and, with its wonderfully drawn characters, it has been worth the wait,” and USA Today wrote, “If you loved The English Patient, there’s probably a place in your heart for The Welsh Girl.

His work has appeared in HarpersThe AtlanticThe Paris ReviewThe Guardian and Washington Post among others, and has been widely anthologized, including selections for Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories. In 2003 Granta magazine named him among its Best of Young British Novelists.

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at