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 […]

The Stolen Bicycle • Wu Ming-Yi

By |September 16th, 2018|

Where I live, a bicycle is a necessity of life. It’s the only sensible way to get around a city like Amsterdam with its winding canals and ditto streets. Everyone here rides: men in three-piece suits, women in stiletto heels and kids on their way to school.

Bikes are the main characters […]

CD Review: Xian Xinghai’s Production Cantata

By |September 13th, 2018|

Eight decades after the premiere of Xian Xinghai’s Production Cantata, this forgotten masterpiece from China’s first great modern composer has not only been finally recorded for the very first time but given the recording perfection it deserves. The Production Cantata was first performed on March 21, 1939, in Yan’an, the “Red […]

Lucky Girl • Mei-ling Hopgood

By |July 24th, 2018|

Of the handful of Taiwan adoption memoirs, the stand-out is Lucky Girl (2010) by journalist Mei-ling Hopgood.

Mei-ling was adopted in 1974 from Taitung, in the then relatively remote southeast of Taiwan, by an American couple from Michigan. She had a happy childhood, with two adopted boys from South Korea as playmates and […]

The Science of War: Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” Re-translated and Re-considered • Christopher MacDonald

By |July 13th, 2018|

The Chinese classic The Art of War is one of those works whose adaptability and universality, coupled with its ancient Asian mystique, lends itself to superficial referencing, no more clearly seen than in the myriad of book spin-offs; there’s an Art of War for small businesses, women in business, managers, writers, […]