China Family ghosts Los Angeles Taiwan


My brothers and I are busy getting rid of stuff. I suppose that this, too, is a part of death. I can remember doing this for my mother-in-law. Now, I’m doing it for Dad. Clothes, medical supplies, lots of paper. There are treasures, too, among the detritus. In his desk drawer, under the paper clips […]

Family ghosts Shanghai


When Dad was a kid in Shanghai, he listened to music all the time. A British marching band used to practice up on Jessfield Road. Downstairs were his sister and her piano teacher, a White Russian princess who smelled like cats. Dad sprawled on the floor of his father’s study to listen to records on […]

Family ghosts


My dad died a few days ago. He was 96 years old. He went quickly and quietly. No pain. Dad was asleep and then he stopped breathing. By the time I got on a plane to Los Angeles, he was already gone. I didn’t have a chance to tell him how much I love him. […]

Censorship China Hong Kong

Payback Time

Hongkongers are in the news again. New security legislation, protests, and the inevitable arrests. Shock and dismay expressed around the world. Many claim that Beijing has violated the 1997 treaty pursuant to which the United Kingdom relinquished control over Hong Kong. But the writing has been on the wall for a while. The Chinese are […]