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Intruder in Mao’s Realm: An Englishman’s eyewitness account of 1970s China • Richard Kirkby

Ever visited places on your overseas travels and felt that you were ten or twenty years too late? I have, often, but not with China. I first went there in 1995 and it was bad enough; a decade or two earlier would have meant even dirtier toilets, even worse transportation, […]

By |December 28th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Sherlock Holmes and the Nine-Dragon Sigil • Tim Symonds

Late at night and easing your way through a bottle, have you ever been blessed by a flash of literary genius? Perhaps an idea for a novel, let’s say, a Sherlock Holmes story set in Asia? Alas, you’re hardly halfway through the celebratory follow-up bottle when a few cursory internet […]

By |December 24th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

China and the New Maoists • Kerry Brown and Simone van Nieuwenhuizen

We’ve all seen pictures featuring the giant portrait of Mao Zedong in front of the Gate of Heavenly Peace overlooking Tiananmen Square. But this kind of imagery is surprisingly rare; one of the reasons that particular portrait is so overused is the lack of alternatives to photograph. Forty years after […]

By |December 21st, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Live at the Forbidden City: Musical Encounters in China and Taiwan • Dennis Rea

Between the time when the Maoist stranglehold loosened and the rise of the globalized Internet-connected China, there was an age of undreamed-of possibilities. And unto this came American musician Dennis Rea like a time traveller from the future, guitar in hand, bearing the dubious gifts of progressive rock and free […]

By |December 17th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Trickle-Down Censorship: An Outsider’s Account of Working Inside China’s Censorship Regime • JFK Miller

China’s censors can be a sensitive bunch.

Once upon a time, I worked as an “Editorial Assistant” on a tier-2 city expat rag. Though little more than a glorified copy writer and far removed from the forefront of cutting journalism (my biggest scoop was tracking down the reservation number of a […]

By |December 13th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Lust & Philosophy • Isham Cook

Lust & Philosophy is Isham Cook’s first novel and radically different from his other books. Isham’s previously published works were anthologies of either short stories or critical essays, but this time he has attempted to create a full-length semi-autobiographical novel with academic references so deep you’ll need an excavator to […]

By |November 3rd, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Massage and the Writer • Isham Cook

Whether you’ll enjoy Isham’s Massage and the Writer depends on how open-minded you are. If you’re conservative – either of the traditional “thou shall not covet thy neighbour” type, or the more malignant PC liberal type that views any intimate encounters between white men and foreigners as some kind of […]

By |November 2nd, 2016|Uncategorised|1 Comment

Japan and America: A Contrast • Carl Crow

Japan and America (1916) is a forceful warning about Japan’s diplomatic duplicity and its expansionist plans. Carl Crow (1883–1945), an American newspaperman based in Shanghai, was vehemently anti-Japan, but his strident tone seems justified given how subsequent events unfolded. He ends the book with a prophetic prediction:
In their hearts the […]

By |October 9th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Watching Big Brother: Political Cartoons by Badiucao • China Digital Times

In the lead-up to the fortieth anniversary of Mao Zedong’s death (September 9, 1976), controversy raged in an unlikely place. Among the Chinese community in Australia there was a divisive argument about two Mao tribute concerts planned for Sydney and Melbourne. Australia-based Chinese cartoonist Badiucao expressed his disgust:

Badiucao is one of […]

By |September 13th, 2016|Uncategorised|0 Comments

The Gunners of Shenyang • Yu Jihui

How best to capture in print the madness of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution? Should a writer focus on a village, or zoom in on an individual’s plight? How about a multi-generation family saga for an epic sweep? Perhaps a detached analytical approach drawing heavily on statistics […]

By |September 8th, 2016|Uncategorised|1 Comment