Categories
Shanghai War

Father Jacquinot

Robert Jacquinot de Besange is the stuff of legends. He was born in 1878 into the French aristocracy. The young Jacquinot lost his right arm in a chemistry explosion. Undeterred, he went on to become a Jesuit. At the age of 25, he arrived in Shanghai. His assignment was to serve the Portuguese congregation at […]

Categories
Amsterdam Politics The Netherlands

The Low Countries

When I moved to the Netherlands, my Dutch husband and I had just married. I promised to stick it out for a year. He promised, if I still hated Amsterdam, to go back to the States.  My husband did all he could to prepare me for the transition. He gave me books to read before […]

Categories
Craft

Curve of the Land

Setting is a basic building block for any kind of writing. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fiction or non-fiction, prose or poetry or drama. There are lots of definitions of setting but I like the Wikipedia version the best: The setting is both the time and geographic location within a narrative or within a work […]

Categories
Censorship Chinese prisons

Prisoner #42816

Prisoner #42816 spent 23 months in a Chinese jail, first in the Shanghai Detention Center and later in Qingpu Prison. The charge was “illegally acquiring personal information” of Chinese nationals, a claim he vehemently denies to this day. Prisoner #42816 is Briton Peter Humphrey. Last month, he published his first account of My life inside […]