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Amsterdam Chinese-American Language Los Angeles Shanghai

Migrant Writing

migrant ˈmʌɪɡr(ə)nt/ noun a person who moves from one place to another in order to find work or better living conditions I am a migrant. I moved from the United States to the Netherlands because my husband got the job of his dreams in Amsterdam. My parents are migrants, too, leaving China for America for […]

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Craft Food

Late Bloomers

Late bloomers are lazy; they don’t put in the effort needed to develop their God-given talents. Or, they’ve been thwarted by the roadblocks life throws in their path: poverty, pregnancy, sheer bad luck. Some late bloomers don’t get discovered in time. All of them are old. It doesn’t really matter how old. You can find […]

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California Chinese-American Hong Kong Los Angeles Politics

Model Minority

I have been a minority all my life. As the only girl in a neighborhood of boys, a downtrodden East Los Angeleno in a fancy-pants law school or a Chinese-American expat in the Netherlands. As minority experiences go, however, I can’t really complain. My kind doesn’t make trouble and so trouble rarely rains down on […]

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Craft Family ghosts Revolution Shanghai

Socialism Is Great!

When I started work on my novel Peace Court, I looked for sources to feed my imagination. I found plenty of history books but almost no fiction that dwelt on Shanghai in the early 1950s. Certainly none that originated from inside China. I wondered why that was the case. This is what I learned. revolutionary […]

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About Karen Kao Amsterdam Author event Book tour California Creative writing workshops

2017 in Words & Pictures

This so-called Chinese proverb is actually the brainchild of American adman Fred Barnard, who dreamed it up in 1921. He wanted folks to take him seriously, hence the fake Chinese source. Madeleine Thien is no huckster though she is a novelist. In Do Not Say We Have Nothing, she says the Chinese ancients believed that […]