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Remembering Shanghai: A Memoir of Socialites, Scholars and Scoundrels • Claire Chao and Isabel Sun Chao

The Pearl of the Orient, the Paris of the East – Shanghai of the 1920s to 1949 has long captivated readers as one of history’s great cities; it’s been a first-choice setting for China fiction and non-fiction. Is there room on the shelf for yet another title? Yes, if the […]

By |June 24th, 2019|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Finding the Way: A Novel of Lao Tzu • Wayne Ng

Finding the Way is an audacious novel. It takes some courage to pen a fictional life of such a revered figure as Laozi. He is, after all, a much loved philosopher considered to be the founder of Taoism, and sometimes even worshipped as a deity (my wife’s family actually has a temple […]

By |May 30th, 2019|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Wild Geese Sorrow: The Chinese Wall Inscriptions at Angel Island • Translated by Jeffrey Thomas Leong

In 1970, United States park ranger Alexander Weiss found writing on the walls. He was in the abandoned wooden barracks on Angel Island, a bit of rock in San Francisco Bay. Inside those barracks, Weiss found thousands of characters carved into the walls. Those characters were eventually determined to be […]

By |April 20th, 2019|Reviews|0 Comments

Dragons in Shallow Water: Love and Death in the Boxer Rebellion • Clare Kane

The 55-day siege of the international legations in Peking during the summer of 1900 is a terrific setting for a novel: here we have, during the twilight days of the imperial capital, the mayhem and violence of the anti-foreign Boxer Rebellion, the political machinations of the Qing court, and finally the race to […]

By |February 21st, 2019|Reviews|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

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

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