Author Interview: James Lande

By |August 28th, 2016|

Beijing-based writer Isham Cook talks to fellow American James Lande, the author of Yang Shen: The God from the West, an epic novel set during the bloody Taiping Rebellion of the mid-nineteenth century.

What got you interested in this particular time period in Chinese history?

The late Ch’ing Dynasty was where I found […]

Yang Shen: The God from the West • James Lande

By |August 28th, 2016|

Last century China experienced one of its periodic mid-century blowouts, where everything that can go wrong does go wrong and tens of millions die in senseless slaughter. The Chinese Civil War of 1927-50: 2-8 million dead. The Sino-Japanese War of 1937-45: up to 26 million dead. The manmade Great Chinese […]

At the Teahouse Café: Essays from the Middle Kingdom • Isham Cook

By |August 27th, 2016|

Isham Cook’s writing was recommended to me by Arthur Meursault. I’d previously chanced upon Cook’s website but been put off by the pervy content. When I say “pervy,” I don’t mean that Cook is the sort of chap you wouldn’t want pet-sitting your llama, or that his bedroom drawers are […]

Olivia & Sophia • Rosie Milne

By |August 10th, 2016|

Any expat in Asia grumbling about the stifling summer heat, oversized bugs, or the difficulty of tracking down decent cream cheese, would do well to read Rosie Milne’s superb Olivia & Sophia. Although at its heart a love story describing the marriages between British colonial official Sir Thomas Stanford Raffles […]

The Exact Unknown • Isham Cook

By |July 31st, 2016|

Once a platform for many a fine author – Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft, HG Wells … hell, even Charles Dickens – the short story has long fallen out of favour. Nineteenth century authors looking to establish themselves would submit their short stories or serialized novel to magazines and journals. […]

Idiocy, Ltd. • Eric Mader

By |July 29th, 2016|

Idiocy, Ltd.: A Genre-Bending Collection from Taiwan

[Editor’s note: Eric Mader is an American expat writer working in Taiwan. His satirical novel A Taipei Mutt was published in 2002, and he has since published a collection of essays, Heretic Days. His most recent book, Idiocy, Ltd., is reviewed below by Hugh […]

Author Interview: Rosie Milne

By |July 12th, 2016|

Rosie Milne is an English writer based in Singapore. She is the author of How To Change Your Life, Holding the Baby, and most recently, Olivia & Sophia, a historical novel describing the Southeast Asian adventures of Sir Stamford Raffles (1781-1826) and his two wives.

What was the inspiration for Olivia & […]

Author Interview: Arthur Meursault

By |July 4th, 2016|

Arthur Meursault is the author of the dark comedy Party Members (due out in August). Set in the fictional Chinese city of Huaishi, it follows the exploits of Yang Wei, a mid-level government official led astray by greed and corruption.

Meursault left his native England as a teenager, throwing himself into the […]

Wish Lanterns • Alec Ash

By |July 3rd, 2016|

To get a closer, more insightful look at modern China than you do from reading Wish Lanterns, you would probably need to learn Mandarin, marry a Chinese woman, move to China, and live with your in-laws.

Wish Lanterns follows the lives of six young Chinese born between 1985 and 1990. This […]

The Mercenary Mandarin: How a British adventurer became a general in Qing-dynasty China • David Leffman

By |June 27th, 2016|

One bottle too many into a late-night session and sometimes my thoughts turn sour at living in such an adventureless age. The time when there were still blanks on the map – a mere two generations ago, almost within reach, damn it – is as distant as the days of […]