Month: October 2020

  • Green Thumbs

    Gardening is not my superpower. As a young adult, I was known for the speed with which I killed my houseplants. When my husband and I moved from Washington, DC to Amsterdam, 30 years ago, I saw it as a welcome opportunity to rid myself of all those sad specimens lurking in the corners of […]

  • Seoul

    A year ago today, I was in Seoul, the capital of South Korea. This was month 2 of a round-the-world trip that lasted 7 months. My husband and I were following an itinerary I had crafted using novels I had read and upended by whatever happened to cross our path. That trip feels like a […]

  • Max Lazerich

    Max Lazerich is the star of the final volume of my Shanghai Quartet. And yet, so far, he’s played a relatively minor role. In The Dancing Girl and Turtle, Max is Kang’s workmate and improbable friend. He’s an even more unlikely love interest for the cook Jin. By the time Peace Court and Laogai, the […]

  • Moon Cake

    On the 15th day of the 8th lunar month, Asia celebrates the Harvest Moon Festival. Lions dance in China, Taiwan and Singapore. Japanese and Korean children make paper lanterns while in Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines, the older generation gazes ardently at the full moon. In all these countries, in one form or another, people […]