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

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 […]

By |April 1st, 2019|Reviews, Uncategorised|0 Comments

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

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 […]

By |February 20th, 2019|Reviews, Uncategorised|0 Comments

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

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 […]

By |November 1st, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

The Stolen Bicycle • Wu Ming-Yi

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 […]

By |September 16th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

CD Review: Xian Xinghai’s Production Cantata

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 […]

By |September 13th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Lucky Girl • Mei-ling Hopgood

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 […]

By |July 24th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

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

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, […]

By |July 13th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Stamped: An Anti-Travel Novel • Kawika Guillermo

The striking originality of this novel starts with the sub-title. What to make of the declaration (warning?) that this is an “anti-travel novel”? The story takes us on a roll call of Asian travel destinations – Bangkok, Vientiane, Shanghai
, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Hong Kong, Manila, Jakarta, Bali, Seoul, Mumbai
, Kolkata, […]

By |July 13th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

The Wounded Muse • Robert F. Delaney

The Wounded Muse is an exciting yet grounded thriller set in Beijing during the years leading up to the 2008 Olympics. It’s a wonderful setting in time and place; here was the People’s Republic of China getting ready to celebrate its arrival on the world stage as a great power. Beijing […]

By |July 12th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Palm-of-the-Hand Stories • Kawabata Yasunari   

Reviewed by Karen Kao

Kawabata Yasunari was born in 1899 and committed suicide in 1972. He watched Japan open itself to the world, indulge in dreams of empire and survive the ensuing firestorm. His characters were ordinary people: prostitutes, abandoned wives and children. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in […]

By |June 21st, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments