Singapore Writers Festival: Chen Qiufan turns waste into science-fiction gold

Chinese science-fiction writer Stanley Chen Qiufan hopes translations of his book will make people in developed countries think twice about where their waste ends up.
Chinese science-fiction writer Stanley Chen Qiufan hopes translations of his book will make people in developed countries think twice about where their waste ends up.PHOTO: COURTESY OF CHEN QIUFAN

When Chinese science-fiction writer Stanley Chen Qiufan was growing up in Guangdong province, there was a town near where he lived that existed solely on trash.

The town of Guiyu was the world's dumping ground for electronic waste. An army of workers, mostly poor migrants from other parts of China, stripped computers, circuit boards and cables for recycling, often with their bare hands.

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