chairs lining a street; first newsletters
Shanghai street scene. Photo credit: Karen Kao

My first blog post appeared on this website on 22.10.2016. It took me a while to figure it out, but soon thereafter I started sending out weekly newsletters to subscribers and fans on Facebook. My first newsletter went into the world on 24.11.2016 and I’ve been going strong ever since.

But some of you who visit my website may not know about these newsletters. And a handful of you might care to read them. So starting today, 26.01.2018, I’m putting all my newsletters online for you to peruse at your leisure.

To help you find your way, I’ve listed the topics discussed, the famous and the not so famous people quoted. I’ve added anyplace that moved me from the theater to music, dance to film.

I’ve highlighted one search term per newsletter. If you click on it, you’ll go to the newsletter itself and whatever goodies I might have linked to it. For sure, you’ll find my blog post for the week and maybe a book review, too.

Check it out. And if you decided that you cannot bear the idea of missing another one, you can sign up for my newsletters here.

Newsletter Signup Form

February 2018

#VoteThemOut – Magazine Mashup – Orient Express

Afternoon of Readings – AM Homes – – POV – VERSO/ Uprising Seat at the Table

Coco – El Dia de los Muertos – The Impossible Voyage – Propaganda

January 2018

book clubs – book reviews – Migrant Writing

Bakery Institute – bread – Late Bloomers – poetry

Cory Booker – International Writers’ Collective – Model Minority – Shanghai Literary Review – Tracy K. Smith – Zadie Smith

Ai Weiwei – Geometry – Madeleine Thien – Madame Mao – Socialism Is Great! – Socialist Realism

2017 in Words and Pictures – bee hotels – Georgetown Law – Gustave Flaubert

December 2017

Kristen Roupenian – sushi – The Smell of Opium

Arts Council England – Francine Prose – Tim O’Brien – To Teach or Not to Teach – Will Self

Peace Court – snow – Speaking in Dialects

chiles Mexicanos – Facebook – House of Books – Mohsin Hamid

November 2017

Jiaozi – Laila’s Levain – short stories

Al Franken – John Lassiter – Say It Ain’t So, Joe

East LA – JRR Tolkien – Mind Map – Ramona Magazine – teaching

Bishop Robert C. Wright – Chinese Historical Society of Southern California – Day of the Dead

Devil’s Bargain – Laogai – plus ca change – San Diego Chinese Historical Museum – We Chinese

October 2017

By now, I’ve figured out how to post blogs wherever I am in the world. As a result, you’ll find no gaps in my October newsletters. All sent from sunny Southern California during my second book tour!

birthday cake – long life noodles – Phoenix Bakery – Shanghai Noir

#metoo – China Daily – Harvey Weinstein – Peace Court – Volkenkunde Museum

California book tour – Dipika Mukherjee – Ghost Month – Pages Bookstore Cafe Amsterdam

Afternoon of Readings – book blog tour – Genesis of a Quartet – Hugh Hefner

September 2017

Book Club Questions – newspapers – Pope Francis

A Book Blog Tour – Jeanette Winterson – London attacks – Narrative Magazine – William Carlos Williams

dance hall hostess
Image source: Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Center

Until 21.09.2017, my newsletters went out under the name Shanghai Lady. That was, of course, a reference to Song Anyi, the main character of The Dancing Girl and the Turtle, but also to myself. Going forward, you’ll see my newsletters come in under the name Shanghai Noir, the genre in which I write.

Mao Zedong – Martial Arts – Mohsin Hamid

Authors Electric – Forum van Rossum – Frank Dikotter – Fujianhua – Reverend William C. Barber – Sea Prayer

August 2017

#FreeRightsDefenders – Dudok Quartet – Hortus Ensemble – Nicole Krauss – The Art of War

Labels and Charlottesville – Kunstmuseum Kloster under lieben Frauen – Lucas Foglia

kokeshi dolls – McTyeire’s School for Girls – SieboldHuis

Britta Marakatt-Labba – documenta 14 – Richard Flanagan – Wanderlust

July 2017

Once in a while, I need a break from blogging. Recharge the creative juices with a little wandering. This summer, my holiday was in Germany: documenta 14 and the Skulptur Projekt, West and East and places in between.

Instagram – Lost in Translation – Not the Booker Prize – Summer reading list

Frankfurt Book Fair – Ginkaku-ji – Grandma – Natsume Soseki

Electric Literature – Fiftiness – foot fetish – Kitten Heels

June 2017

critique groups – Custom House – gardening – John Green

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag – Mine mine mine – Peace Court – Shanghai Quartet

Gong Ho – Hollywood Boulevard – Twitter etiquette

activist fatigue – Marianne Boruch – Glimmer Train – Lawyers for Good Government – The Five Stages of Trump

Fear of Failure

May 2017

Andres Barba – Holland Times – Qipao – vlog

Expatica – Fish – Jean Genet – Goodreads – Hendrik Ibsen – Simon Stone

California Dreaming – Historical Novel Society – LA Review of Books – On the Road – South China Morning Post

April 2017

This was a big month for me. First, the standing-room-only launch of my debut novel here in Amsterdam. Then, just a few days later, a whirlwind book tour through California: from Los Angeles to San Francisco, through Silicon Valley and ending in San Diego.

jetlag – playlist – SFMOMA – Show Don’t Tell

All That Jazz – Paul Beatty – jazz – In the Mood

March 2017

Leo van Gestel – Jackie Hatton – Korea – launch preparations – Singer Laren Museum

Amah – author events – countdown

ACLU – Dutch elections gone wrong – Politically Correct – ForĀ  Books’ Sake podcast – International Women’s Day – Kunisada – Rhiannon Jenkins-Tsang – Shame Is a Useless Emotion

family ghosts – Old House – Shanghai longtang

February 2017

book promotion – Bugs Bunny Show – The Sense of an Ending

A Death in the Family – book reviews – The Handmaiden – Park Chan-Wook – Sarah Waters

book promotion – War Without End

activism – galley proofs – The Language of Blood – Yiyun Li

January 2017

Beyond the Bestseller – book review section – – Pig Knuckle Soup – Women’s March

#writersresist – activism – The Good Immigrant

book cover – Labor Pains – Through the Looking Glass: An Asian-American Identity

A New Progressive Narrative – Book by Book – happy new year

December 2016

Christmas Chinese-American Style – Holiday wishes

A Reading List – Du Yuesheng – Suzhou

Slowly but surely, the coin drops. This week’s blog about the family ghost who inspired The Dancing Girl and the Turtle and the Shikumen House Museum that helped me create that world.

Here’s my second newsletter. Still haven’t got the knack of providing content but at least I managed to link my post for the week: Origami for Authors.

November 2016

This was my very first newsletter. Before I knew what to say or how to attach my latest blog post Chicken Shit. At this point, all I could figure out to say was Welcome to Shanghai.

The Dancing Girl and the Turtle: publication date 01.04.2017