Month: June 2019

  • Millet

    For Christmas one year, Son No. 1 gave me a copy of Cuisine & Empire: Cooking in World History by Rachel Laudan. Food often says a lot about the people who eat it and, by extension, the sort of society they create. This book opened my eyes to the role of millet in the Chinese […]

  • Novel Navigation

    Reading and writing is what I do. Every day, all day, seven days in the week. My husband does the same thing and our house in Amsterdam perfectly accommodates us both. So why leave home? And yet that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Travel around the world for 7 months. Go to countries we’ve […]

  • Talk to Me

    Last week, a student asked me to talk about writing dialogue. She felt that her own dialogue was stilted, created solely for the purpose of completing her writing exercise for the week. I said something vague and probably wholly unsatisfactory, although this student was too polite to say so. I think I mumbled something like: […]

  • A Boot in the Face

    On Sunday afternoon, 2 June 2019, the Asian Cha blog went dark. Owner Tammy Ho Lai-Ming panicked. This was the message that appeared. When the site went dark, Ho was busy uploading texts for a reading she was to moderate. There were less than 12 hours to go. She couldn’t delay the event. Its purpose […]