Arts

Feile appearance for writer Winni M Li as she talks about her debut novel

Winnie M Li, who will be talking about her debut novel Dark Chapter with writer Glenn Patterson today as part of Féile an Phobail
Joanne Sweeney

US WRITER Winnie M Li today returns to Belfast, the city where the most horrifying event in her life took place, to discuss her first novel Dark Chapter at a Féile an Phobail lunchtime event in Culturlann McAdam Ó Fiaich.

Ms Li was raped and violently assaulted by a 15-year-old stranger in Colin Glen Forest Park in 2008 while visiting Belfast.

From 1pm today she will be in conversation with Belfast writer Glenn Patterson, who has said of her novel: "This is not just an important book; it is a very, very good one, and the first, you feel, of many from Winnie M Li."

Dark Chapter is set in Belfast and London and recounts an assault on main character Vivian Tan. Like Li herself, the protagonist is an American visitor who is raped by a teenage boy while out walking. Unlike Ms Li's own experience, however, the book deals with how the character then has to face her attacker in court.

"Writing this novel has helped me on a personal level, as in the aftermath of my assault I was pretty much driven by two questions. One, what was it that would drive a boy like that at 15 years old to commit that kind of violence against a stranger – and what led up to that moment? And the second, does he have any idea of the impact that his actions have had on my life?"the writer told The Irish News in an interview earlier this year.

Today's event is part of the the Scribes and Drama section of Féile an Phobail, which runs until August 13.

:: For booking and details of all Féile an Phobail events see www.feilebelfast.com

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