It was a dark and stormy night. Well, maybe not that stormy — but it was dark outside. We, however, were sitting snugly inside The Bookworm, a delightful mix of library-café-bar-bookshop that had become something of an institution within the short seven years since it first opened its doors in Beijing.

That The Bookworm had gained such status so quickly was largely down to its annual literary festivals — held every March to discuss all manner of China-related issues, including the events on Tiananmen Square in 1989 — and the fact that it was located in the vibrant Sanlitun area of Beijing...

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