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The Dancing Girl and the Turtle • Karen Kao

Karen Kao’s debut novel The Dancing Girl & the Turtle is an ambitious, striking addition to the novels showing the sleazy side of 1930s Shanghai.

Impatient to get to the magical city of Shanghai, recently orphaned 18-year-old Anyi Song disregards instructions to wait for an escort, setting off from Soochow by herself. “Soon, […]

By |June 9th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Going Down to the Sea: Chinese Sex Workers Abroad • Ko-lin Chin

To what extent is the international flesh trade the result of nefarious criminals using deceit, threats, and violence to control women and how much of it involves women voluntarily choosing to join the profession and stay in it? Ko-lin Chin, a professor of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, decided to […]

By |June 8th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

A Far Corner: Life and Art with the Open Circle Tribe • Scott Ezell

Like many long-term expats in Taiwan, American Scott Ezell’s first encounter with the country was rather incidental. He came in 1992, on a friend’s recommendation, to study Chinese, an interest that sprang from his love of the Tang dynasty poets, polymath bohemians like Li Bai who celebrated and lived contemplative […]

By |June 7th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Formosa Moon • Joshua Samuel Brown and Stephanie Huffman

When writing a travel book, you ideally want some kind of framework; whether it’s a river journey from source to mouth, the seasons of a year, retracing an explorer’s footsteps, or a pilgrimage to religious sites, you want something to hold the whole together. Formosa Moon has the brilliant setup […]

By |June 6th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

A Hero Born • Jin Yong (translated by Anna Holmwood)

Opening Anna Holmwood’s deft translation of A Hero Born, a prefatory list of characters promises the delights waiting within. Skyfury Guo, The Seven Freaks of the South, Quick Hands Zhu Cong the Intelligent, and Twice Foul Dark Wind stand poised to jump-kick readers into a rich, thrilling, sometimes whacky world.

A […]

By |May 31st, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Bury What We Cannot Take • Kirstin Chen

Kirstin Chen’s novel Bury What We Cannot Take unfolds like a dream sequence, following the fictional fortunes of a southern Chinese family torn apart in 1957, eight years after the Communists’ victory and on the cusp of the Great Leap Forward. The violence and trauma visited upon millions of innocent Chinese […]

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

The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island • Cathy Erway

The standout successful English-language book about Taiwan in recent years – well, other than the perennial chart-topping Lonely Planet travel guide – has been Cathy Erway’s The Food of Taiwan: Recipes from the Beautiful Island. Normally I would read such a bestseller right away, if not from interest, then at […]

By |April 25th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Ghost Month: A Taipei Night Market Novel • Ed Lin

 

Ed Lin’s Ghost Month (2014) incorporates several quintessential Taiwanese elements – religious superstitions, gangsters, night markets, and betel-nut girls – into a murder mystery. It’s set during the seventh month of the Chinese calendar (typically falling in August), a time when the dead roam the world of the living. The spirits […]

By |April 23rd, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Flight to Formosa • Frank Clune

In the years after China’s “Liberation” (as an aside, China’s “liberation” should always be used with quotation marks) a steady stream of leftist visitors paid court to Mao Zedong’s PRC and came away enthusiastically repeating CCP propaganda. Likewise, there were many “useful idiots” on the right who returned from stage-managed […]

By |April 23rd, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Taiwan: A Travel Guide for Vegans • Jesse Duffield

Taiwanese Nazis? That’s sometimes the initial confused impression visitors get when seeing a shop sign swastika. The visitor soon reads or is told that it’s an ancient Buddhist symbol (which Hitler reversed) and it is associated with vegetarian restaurants: find a reversed swastika and you’ve found yourself vegetarian food. However, […]

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