Orville Schell—Director of the Center on US–China Relations at the Asia Society in New York, former Dean of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and a uniquely experienced observer of contemporary China—joins renowned theater director Peter Sellars for a free, livestreamed conversation centered on Schell’s just-published book My Old Home, A Novel of Exile, on Tuesday, March 30 at 6pm (PDT). The conversation will explore Schell’s particular interest in the divide that arose under the Chinese Communist Party between the imperatives of the individual and the state, especially as experienced by artists and musicians. Schell and Sellars will be welcomed by New Yorker contributing journalist, writer, and cultural critic Zha Jianying, who will introduce the conversation and moderate a Q&A. The discussion will also showcase recordings of some of the music that is featured in Schell’s novel.

Produced in partnership with the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, this event is presented as part of Cal Performances’ Illuminations: “Fact or Fiction” programming, which examines the balance artists and authors strike between historical accuracy and poetic license to create work that resonates with meaningful impact without completely obscuring the truth.

This online conversation is free and open to the public. Advance registration is recommended at calperformances.org/my-old-home.

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PHOTO 1
Pictured: Cal Performances and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism present a free livestreamed discussion, My Old Home, A Novel of Exile, with Peter Sellars, Orville Schell, and Zha Jianying, on March 30, 2021. Pictured: Orville Schell.
(credit: Courtesy of Orville Schell)
PHOTO 2
Pictured: Cal Performances and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism present a free livestreamed discussion, My Old Home, A Novel of Exile, with Peter Sellars, Orville Schell, and Zha Jianying, on March 30, 2021. Pictured: Peter Sellars.
(credit: Ruth Walz)
PHOTO 3
Pictured: Cal Performances and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism present a free livestreamed discussion, My Old Home, A Novel of Exile, with Peter Sellars, Orville Schell, and Zha Jianying, on March 30, 2021. Pictured: Zha Jianying.
(credit: Courtesy of Zha Jianying)