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About Karen Kao Amsterdam Food Travel

My Favorite Things

I’ve never felt homesick before. Not when I went to China for the first time. Not when I moved to the Netherlands. Sure, there were people and places I missed but I never felt sick to my stomach or anxious or unable to repress a desire to return. These are, apparently, all common ways of […]

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Books Craft

The Royal We

The first person plural narrator is a rare beast. Few fiction writers want to tell their tale using the we form. Why not? Explanations vary. Some writers see the first person plural narrator as nothing more than a gimmick. Others see it as a trap for worse. Once mockingly ascribed to royalty, editors, pregnant women, […]

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China Hong Kong Politics Taiwan

The Devil’s Bargain

Deng Xiaoping was a little guy, 5 feet tall though one observer said that was surely an exaggeration. Purged twice in the course of his long political career, you could say Deng is a survivor. The first purge was in 1966, at the start of the Cultural Revolution, for being a capitalist roader. He spent […]

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Books Censorship China

Banned Books

When my Dad was a kid, he loved The Water Margin. It’s racy. It’s gory. His teachers probably banned the book from the classroom. The Water Margin stars a band of 108 bandits who wreak havoc in what is now the province of Shandong. Three of the bandits are women. They are as morally reprehensible […]