Categories
China Family ghosts

Dead Men Walking

Immortal Xia was a corpse dresser. She used to ply her trade around the coal mines near Jincheng. Whenever a mining accident occurred, Immortal Xia would appear dressed in strange robes like a witch. Some locals called her Queen Mother Guanyin, after the Buddhist bodhisattva of mercy and compassion. Immortal Xia didn’t mind caring for […]

Categories
Censorship Craft

Torschlusspanik

Torschlusspanik is one of those wonderful German coinages that envisions an entire universe in a single word. The South African artist William Kentridge defines it as: The panic of closing doors. The fear of opening one door rather than another, and hearing it slam behind you, once you have made your decision; but maybe that […]

Categories
China Politics Revolution

Cultural Revolution 2.0

This month marks an ominous anniversary. On 16 May 1966, Mao Zedong unleashed the Cultural Revolution. For 10 long years, China was consumed by a political and social chaos, the complexity and brutality of which continues to astound historians today. How could such a thing happen? The entire country was caught by surprise. At the […]

Categories
Blogging Books

The Accidental Reviewer

My life as a book reviewer started when I joined Goodreads. I’d been told it would be good for me as an author to connect with my potential readers. If you’re a Goodreads Author (a self-identified category), you can fill your profile with photos and videos, author events and, of course, what you thought of […]

Categories
Chinese-American Food War

Have You Eaten Rice Today?

It’s a ubiquitous phrase you’ll hear all over Hong Kong, Taiwan, and whenever the Cantonese side of my family gets together. Have you eaten rice today? Of course, that’s not a real question. It’s a greeting couched like a question that requires no answer. Just like in the United States where how are you is […]