The Wounded Muse • Robert F. Delaney

By |July 12th, 2018|

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 […]

Author Interview: Tonio Andrade

By |June 22nd, 2018|

Tonio Andrade, one of the best historians currently teaching and writing about East Asia,  is a history professor at Emory University (Atlanta) and the author of three outstanding works: How Taiwan Became Chinese (2008), Lost Colony (2011), and The Gunpowder Age (2016). Lost Colony examines the epic clash between Koxinga’s Chinese forces […]

Palm-of-the-Hand Stories • Kawabata Yasunari   

By |June 21st, 2018|

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 […]

Author Interview: Eric Mader

By |June 21st, 2018|

Arthur Meursault, author of Party Members, talks with Eric Mader, an American expat writer working in Taiwan. Mader’s published works include A Taipei Mutt (2002) and more recently Idiocy, Ltd., which has been translated into Chinese.

This Author Interview is by far the longest we’ve had on Bookish Asia so I’ve switched from having bold […]

Nuclear Blues • Bradley K. Martin

By |June 11th, 2018|

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 […]

The Dancing Girl and the Turtle • Karen Kao

By |June 9th, 2018|

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, […]

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

By |June 8th, 2018|

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 […]

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

By |June 7th, 2018|

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 […]

Formosa Moon • Joshua Samuel Brown and Stephanie Huffman

By |June 6th, 2018|

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 […]

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

By |May 31st, 2018|

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 […]