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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

Nuclear Blues • Bradley K. Martin

Why switch from writing non-fiction to fiction, especially when you’ve spent decades working as a journalist and your last book was Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader, the acclaimed 2006 portrait of North Korea’s dictators Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong-Il? One advantage of fiction is that it is […]

By |June 11th, 2018|Uncategorised|0 Comments

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