Month: March 2018

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]