Reviews

/Reviews

Taiwanese Grammar: A Concise Reference • Philip T. Lin

At some point back in the mists of time (2009ish), when I was actively learning Taiwanese, my most frequently repeated complaint was the lack of a decent Taiwanese reference grammar (in any language). This lack has now been comprehensively remedied by the release of Philip T. Lin’s Taiwanese Grammar: A […]

By |December 2nd, 2016|Reviews|0 Comments

Yang Shen: The God from the West • James Lande

Reviewed by Isham Cook.

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 […]

By |August 28th, 2016|Reviews|0 Comments

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

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 […]

By |August 27th, 2016|Reviews|0 Comments

Behind the Forbidden Door: Travels in Unknown China • Tiziano Terzani

Tiziano Terzani was an Italian writer, journalist and adventurer, who spent decades living all across Asia. He was well known in Italy for his deep knowledge of Asian languages and cultures, and for his fascinating travel books. His book on his years in China, Behind the Forbidden Door: Travels in Unknown China (Henry Holt: 1986), […]

By |May 21st, 2016|Reviews|0 Comments

Accidental State: Chiang Kai-shek, the United States, and the Making of Taiwan • Hsiao-ting Lin

The false certainty of hindsight makes it seem inevitable that the Japanese colony of Taiwan would, after the Second World War, come under Nationalist (Kuomintang or KMT) control; and it was surely logical that Chiang Kai-shek and the KMT would flee to the island in the dying days of the […]

By |March 7th, 2016|Reviews|0 Comments

Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China • Fuschia Dunlop

I vividly remember the day my father announced that we were going to move. I was six, and we were sitting round the dinner table in our house in Dublin. As we finished our food he calmly told us that we would be leaving Ireland, destined for Hong Kong. I […]

By |March 3rd, 2016|Reviews, Uncategorised|0 Comments

Ghost Cities of China: The Story of Cities without People in the World’s Most Populated Country • Wade Shepard

In 2009 the “Ghost City” of Ordos was discovered by the global media. Here, in a lonely desert expanse, a massive new city, said to be built for a million people, lay eerily quiet and empty. There were brand-new apartment blocks, whole suburbs of upmarket homes, and a massive public […]

By |February 23rd, 2016|Reviews, Uncategorised|0 Comments

The Rose of Tibet • Lionel Davidson

The epic adventure The Rose of Tibet is a stunning work from a largely forgotten writer. Lionel Davidson would make any shortlist for the best thriller writer of the last sixty years whom you’ve never heard of, let alone read. Of his eight novels, three won the prestigious Gold Dagger […]

By |February 23rd, 2016|Reviews, Uncategorised|0 Comments

Ways That Are Dark: The Truth about China • Ralph Townsend

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. (The more things change, the more they stay the same.)
This book on China and the Chinese will contain no apologies. It will present no strenuous effort, where uncomplimentary revelations are made, to drag in some supposedly extenuating or counterbalancing virtue possessed by the people […]

By |February 3rd, 2016|Reviews, Uncategorised|0 Comments

Tiger Tail Soup • Nicki Chen

In Tiger Tail Soup, Seattle-born Nicki Chen delivers a story of eternal hope, a peaceful life derailed, and womanhood attained in a time of war. The novel begins in 1946 with her Chinese protagonist, young mother Han An Lee, traveling by sedan chair north of Xiamen, through the vast mountains […]

By |January 15th, 2016|Reviews|0 Comments