Publisher creating dialogue between China, Germany with book reading

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A story of a German writer about his organ transplantation and ensuing dwelling on the meaning of life met with a Chinese one here in Berlin, as a dialogue between the German writer and a famed Chinese anchorwoman took place on Thursday evening.

The dialogue took place in the form of a book reading held in a Berlin chain bookstore, Thalia. The book reading was organized by the People's Literature Publishing House, which is here in Germany for signing contracts on the Multilanguage copyrights of the book "Readers". The licenses for the book were sold to publishers from several countries including Germany.

The book "Readers" is a collection of book excerpts by famous Chinese authors, and the TV program under the same name where celebrities as well as common viewers read those excerpts has been a success in China.

At the book reading, German writer David Wagner read excerpts from his autobiographical novel "Life". The book, based on his own experiences of a life-saving liver transplantation, has been translated into 17 languages, including Chinese.

"The fact that I am still able to be here, and even see the Chinese version of my novel published is a miracle, a miracle of modern medicine, as well as a miracle of people. It is because of one person or his families' donation that I survived," Wagner told the audience, saying he kept wondering what this person is like.

Dong Qing, renowned Chinese anchorwoman, the producer of the program "Readers" as well as the chief editor of the book "Readers", told Wagner and the audience a story of a father of a Chinese organ donator, a father among the many "Readers" invited to the program.

The father said he can't help thinking about how the five receptors of his 13-year-old daughter's organs are doing.

With the help of the program, the father heard the edited voices of two receptors, one of them a college student who said she managed to continue with study thanks all to the donated cornea. The father, according to Dong Qing, burst into tears upon hearing the voices.

Then the father, on the stage of "Readers", read an excerpt from "A Daughter Forever", an essay of a Chinese writer Zhou Guoping which was written to his deceased daughter. "You made me a father, but for too short a while......"

The story touched Wagner too. He kept nodding his head while Dong Qing narrated the story. Wagner said though he has never written a letter of gratitude to the donor, his book is the letter of gratitude to the gift of life.

Dong Qing said many literary works were created with stories of life and death, and the very inquisition into the meaning of the being can bring our lives to a higher level, therefore ditching literature or book readings would be such a shame.

In a smart phone era where many are only engaged in the so-called fragmented reading, literature still purifies our souls, Dong said, explaining her motivation to be a champion of reading.

Dong Qing told Xinhua that literature is truly marvelous as it instantly erases gaps, distances and prejudices. She hoped that the multi-language version of "Readers" can bring foreign readers closer by shedding light on Chinese people's spiritual world, and by allowing foreign readers to learn China's historical changes and modern lives. 

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