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The Horses of China • Yin Hung Young

China is not usually associated with horses – well, other than being an agrarian civilisation long in opposition to the nomadic horse peoples of Central Asia – and yet it has a rich equestrian history and culture, as detailed in breadth and depth in Yin Hung Young’s The Horses of [...]

Author Interview: Heather Diamond

Heather Diamond is an American writer living in Hong Kong. She is the author of American Aloha: Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition (2011) and Rabbit in the Moon: A Memoir (May, 2021). Rabbit in the Moon describes the author’s multiple mid-life reinventions; moving to Hawaii to complete a Ph.D. program, [...]

Pearl City: Stories from Japan and Elsewhere • Simon Rowe

There are good reasons why publishers’ submission guidelines often include a warning that short story collections are unwanted. The literary form is seldom bought, little read, and usually badly written. While I wouldn’t go as far to say that a writer’s preference for short stories is a sign of moral [...]

Lust & Philosophy • Isham Cook 

Reviewed by Frank Beyer.  This novel details the life of Isham Cook, pen name of an American writer who has lived in Beijing for many years. It isn’t a straightforward read; Lust & Philosophy follows Isham through a number of coming of age experiences in different countries and they’re not in [...]

Tales of Ming Courtesans • Alice Poon

Tales of Ming Courtesans is a moving story about the strength of female friendships. The novel, set in the tumultuous last years of the Ming dynasty, follows the fortunes of three girls, all victims of the flesh trade, who, through their beauty and talents, become celebrated courtesans. They form a sworn sisterhood [...]

I Beheld the Mountains • Joseph and Wilhelmina Payne

On a bitterly cold December morning in 1932, in the frontier city of Kalgan (Zhangjiakou), which lies about two hundred kilometers northwest of Peking, a young protestant missionary couple passed through the chaotic city streets and gates. In two horse-drawn carts, they joined a caravan of camels and carts wending [...]

Western Queers in China: Flight to the Land of Oz • D.E. Mungello

I was recently working on a book chapter about Western authors who had lived in pre-communist Peking – the likes of Edmund Backhouse, George Kates, Harold Acton, David Kidd – and I was struggling to come up with an interesting frame. Rather than a straightforward series of  chronological biographies, I [...]

All Flowers Bloom • Kawika Guillermo

All Flowers Bloom, written by Kawika Guillermo and published by Westphalia Press, is a book that is difficult to define, let alone review. It is ostensibly a novel, classified as queer speculative fiction, but there is not exactly a plot to follow. At least, there is not just one plot [...]