Finding the Way: A Novel of Lao Tzu • Wayne Ng

By |May 30th, 2019|

Finding the Way is an audacious novel. It takes some courage to pen a fictional life of such a revered figure as Laozi. He is, after all, a much loved philosopher considered to be the founder of Taoism, and sometimes even worshipped as a deity (my wife’s family actually has a temple […]

Wild Geese Sorrow: The Chinese Wall Inscriptions at Angel Island • Translated by Jeffrey Thomas Leong

By |April 20th, 2019|

In 1970, United States park ranger Alexander Weiss found writing on the walls. He was in the abandoned wooden barracks on Angel Island, a bit of rock in San Francisco Bay. Inside those barracks, Weiss found thousands of characters carved into the walls. Those characters were eventually determined to be […]

Shots from the Hip: Sex, Drugs and the Tao • Daniel Reid

By |April 1st, 2019|

Daniel Reid is a prolific writer on Chinese philosophy, medicine, and food. He lived in Taipei from 1973 to 1989, and by number of book titles – more than thirty – and copies sold, he is surely the most successful Taiwan expat writer of all time. His latest book, a […]

The Vegetarian, Human Acts, and The White Book • Han Kang

By |March 30th, 2019|

Han Kang is a writer whose books are in conversation with each other. Themes and images migrate from one book to another. A line of dialogue that appears in one novel forms the basis of the next. Her books build on each other the way a nautilus creates its shell. […]

Civil-Military Relations in Taiwan: Identity and Transformation • Dean Karalekas

By |March 13th, 2019|

Civil-Military Relations in Taiwan takes on the important subject of the relationship between the Republic of China armed forces and society, examining public perceptions of the military and the need for transformation to make it more relevant and effective.

As author Dean Karalekas outlines, the military suffers from generally low morale, a […]

Sea Rovers, Silver, and Samurai: Maritime East Asia in Global History, 1550–1700 • Edited by Tonio Andrade and Xing Hang

By |February 26th, 2019|

Sea Rovers, Silver, and Samurai: Maritime East Asia in Global History, 1550–1700 is a treasure chest brimming with the finest jewels scoured from the East Asia Sea. It’s simply impossible for anyone interested in the region to read more than a few chapters without discovering wonderful subject threads begging for […]

Dragons in Shallow Water: Love and Death in the Boxer Rebellion • Clare Kane

By |February 21st, 2019|

The 55-day siege of the international legations in Peking during the summer of 1900 is a terrific setting for a novel: here we have, during the twilight days of the imperial capital, the mayhem and violence of the anti-foreign Boxer Rebellion, the political machinations of the Qing court, and finally the race to […]

Jade Life: An Englishman’s Love Affair with China’s National Treasure • Andrew Shaw

By |February 20th, 2019|

Jade Life: An Englishman’s Love Affair with China’s National Treasure is my favourite kind of China book: a passionate, informed, well-written account of an interesting niche subject. With Jade Life we not only get a depth of knowledge about the subject – and an insider’s look at an unfamiliar world, in […]

A Death in Peking: Who Really Killed Pamela Werner? • Graeme Sheppard

By |November 1st, 2018|

I first came across Graeme Sheppard’s book last year, only it was an earlier version: Life & Death in Old Peking: The Murder of Pamela Werner. As one of the chaps behind independent publisher Camphor Press, I’m always on the outlook for new titles. Every so often I trawl through the […]

Author Interview: Katy Hui-wen Hung

By |October 18th, 2018|

Katy Hui-wen Hung is co-author of A Culinary History of Taipei: Beyond Pork and Ponlai. Co-written with veteran Taiwan writer Steven Crook and published by Rowman & Littlefield, the book is a landmark work, one of the most significant English-language titles on Taiwan published in the last decade.

I always have trouble […]