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Craft Politics

Fear of Failure

We all fear rejection. To be the last kid picked for the kickball team or the only wallflower at the school dance. We long to be popular, wildly so, or at least to seem that way. This human desire predates likes and followers, obsession with crowd sizes or the invention of money as a measure of […]

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Family ghosts Hong Kong Shanghai

Qipao

When I was writing The Dancing Girl and the Turtle, I thought I knew the difference between a qipao and a cheongsam. Both, to be sure, were dresses for women. But in my mind, the former was figure-hugging while the latter was loose. I wanted to use that distinction to show how my main character […]

Categories
Hong Kong Shanghai Taiwan War

Fish

One of the best things about being in California is loading up on food. Chinese food, of course: dim sum and xiaolongbao, Chengdu hot pot and Peking duck. Plus plenty of home-cooked steamed fish. Then there’s the food for thought that comes with being at home with Mom and Dad. All these years, I’ve been […]

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Author event California Chinese-American

California Dreaming

In the aftermath of the wildly successful launch of The Dancing Girl and the Turtle, I thought I might run a serious risk of post-partum depression. What better antidote than to embark on a book tour? Or, as The Mamas and the Papas would say: I’d be safe and warm, if I was in LA. And […]