Month: November 2018

  • Prize

    When my debut novel was about to be born, my publisher and I worked out a PR strategy. Her preferred modus is to enter contests. My faithful readers will recall my attempt to get myself onto the shortlist of the Not the Booker Prize, a contest run by The Guardian. You may surmise by the […]

  • Maps of China

    Two maps of Shanghai hang on the walls of my study. One is an 1875 reproduction. Frenchtown curls around the Chinese City while the International Settlement sprawls on top. The other map is handmade, enlarged so that it covers my bulletin board. I’ve superimposed the names of the past onto the streets of the present. […]

  • Chain Reaction

    The Shanghai Quartet is going to be my magnum opus: four interlocking novels spanning a quarter century of Chinese history. Volume one was my my debut novel, The Dancing Girl and the Turtle. I’ve just finished the manuscript for volume two, Peace Court. While I await feedback from my beta readers, my mind wanders to […]

  • Batting Average

    This year, I received 17 rejections. I’m not talking about sexual advances or job applications. This is about me sending submissions to a literary journal. My submissions might be short stories, essays or books reviews. But because I am a literary nobody, my only way into a journal is through its slush pile. the slush […]