A romantic night at the Australian Writers Week! Author and screenwriter Graeme Simsion, whose "The Rosie Project," a 2013 bestseller, sat down with his Chinese peers and fans Friday night in Beijing. They had a hot discussion on "Romantic Fiction and Algorithms of Love."
These days, young people in China and Australia may face similar challenges in finding "the one," but have their own ways of getting there.
These writers call on a wide variety of approaches to portray love in fiction. In The Rosie Project, genetics professor Don Tillman attempts to find a mate into a science experiment.
In Wen Junli's fiction, a man going through a mid-life crisis starts dating a younger woman but doesn't want to break up with his lover. Speaking on this apparent lost off interest and devotion among the younger generation, Wen does not sound pessimistic.
"In any time of the history, love is a rare thing, not only today. Because it's not easy to hold, we feel enchanted by it. On the other hand, it's understandable that today's young people have become less dependent on love or romance. One reason is that they've got a lot of more interesting things to do," Wen added.
In Liu Jianing's Matchmaking in the Zoo, 29-year-old Wu Huan slogs through a series of arranged meetings but finds her mate in a wholly unexpected manner.
"At the beginning I was reluctant to accept arranged meetings. But later I found it's great fun to meet so many people of various characteristics. I began to enjoy the process when I imagined every one as a certain kind of animal according to their features. Later I realized however strange the persons appeared in your eyes, they might find their 'Mr. or Ms. Right', just like the old saying 'every pot has its lid'," Liu said the story comes from the experiences of her and her friends.
Deng Anqing writes of rural youth in cities, hoping for nothing more than a bit of solace in a relationship. He said when the forgotten children in rural China grow up, they thirst for love but have little knowledge about how to start finding and keeping it.
So, what can we learn from "romance fiction" in our own pursuit of happiness? Have you got an answer?