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Craft Shanghai noir

Who Am I?

Identity politics are all the rage, even within the world of books. This is odd since most of us are chameleons. We shape our identity to match our current circumstances as easily as we change clothes or the color of our hair. Child, spouse, parent. Angeleno, American, Dutch. An author identity is a choice, too, […]

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Censorship China Politics

Truth or Consequences

The people of Thebes are dying. They beseech King Oedipus to save them, as he had once freed them from the clutches of the Sphinx. The oracle promises the plague will pass if Thebes finds the murderer of old king Laius. So Oedipus Rex vows: I will begin again; I will find the truth. Last […]

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Books Censorship

Skin in the Game

Sensitivity readers are the new thing. At least, it was new to me when I read an article by Lionel Shriver entitled We need to talk about sense and sensitivity. Apparently, US publishers are sending out manuscripts for review by sensitivity readers. Their job is to check for any misrepresentations, stereotypes, inauthentic dialogue or anything […]

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About Karen Kao Family ghosts Los Angeles

Family Photos

This week, my mother sent me a poem. She didn’t write it herself and I don’t know who did. Like most of Mom’s emails to me, she forwarded something a friend had sent to her. Usually Mom sends photos, recipes, cleaning tips and YouTube films about China. Last weekend, I was looking at old family […]