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About Karen Kao Amsterdam

Show Don’t Tell

There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are. W. Somerset Maugham And yet: everyone in the writing world will insist on show don’t tell. Put the reader in the room; let her smell the coffee or the roses or the gunpowder. It’s exactly the right way to describe the launch […]

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Jazz Shanghai

All That Jazz

My father has many gifts but dancing is not one of them. My mother taught me to dance: the two step, the waltz, the cha cha cha. She played the jazz tunes of Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. We danced in the living room. She wore house slippers; I was in bare feet. She led, […]