Categories
Historical fiction Jewish Shanghai Shanghai The Shanghai Quartet

The Smell of Opium

Max Lazerich is 16 years old when he runs away from home. He doesn’t want to work in his father’s soda shop. He won’t take school seriously. His dream is to see the world and so he does. The Smell of Opium is my novel-in-progress about a naive Jewish kid from New Jersey coming of […]

Categories
Amsterdam Craft Creative writing workshops

To Teach or Not to Teach

I’ve been invited to join the faculty at the International Writers’ Collective, a creative writing community here in Amsterdam. I’ve said yes (of course) and have flung myself headlong into the training process. Last month, I audited three of the types of classes I’m likely to teach. This month, I read The Art of the […]

Categories
Chinese language Chinese-American Hong Kong Shanghai

Speaking in Dialects

Dad is from the north. He thinks southerners are slippery and clannish. Their talk is impossible to follow. He prefers his native Shanghai dialect with its soft lilting sounds. Mom is a southerner. Her mother tongue is Cantonese. To me, it’s a throat-clearing ribald dialect, somewhere between a curse and an off-color joke. I’m an […]

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Books

House of Books

My husband and I live in a library. We have books on all four floors, in the hallways and along the stairs, in every room of the house. Since my husband and I are both writers, we have plenty of piles, too. Books to read, to sell, to use in the writing of yet more […]