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Blogging

I love blogging

I started blogging because my publisher told me to. All authors have to blog these days, she said, just as all authors need a social media presence. Readers want to feel a personal connection to an author. But I know plenty of authors who refuse to blog. They warned me. It’s too much work. It […]

Categories
Chinese-American Film

Crazy Rich Asians

Regular readers of this blog will know that I’m into all things Asian: the food, the culture and above all its rich, varied, and violent history. Some of you may even have been fooled into thinking that I only care about high brow art and literature. Well, I’m here to burst that bubble. Last weekend, […]

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Craft Creative writing workshops The Shanghai Quartet

Rewriting History

Last month, I gave a master class on novel writing at the International Writers’ Collective. Because my debut novel is set in Shanghai 1937, we spent a little time talking about the historical research that went into The Dancing Girl and the Turtle. Out of fear of disappearing into the research rabbit hole, I decided […]

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Shanghai

Shanghai Mind

To shanghai is to Force (someone) to join a ship lacking a full crew by drugging them or using other underhand means. The word dates back to late 19th century Shanghai and, indeed, all the tropes are there. The drugs, the crime, the indentured service. When we think of the residents of Shanghai, we see […]

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Chinese language Language

Mother Tongues

English is my mother tongue. That’s as much an accident of birth as the result of my parents’ concerted efforts to turn my brothers and me into real Americans. It worked. Neither of my brothers speak any language other than English. And if I hadn’t fallen in love with a Dutchman, I would have suffered […]