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Books China

Double or Nothing

I write about two Chinas. You could say I’m seeing double. Sometimes I write about the real China for this blog. That is to say, I express my opinion about current affairs as I see them from a distance through the lens of media reports. It’s very possible that the China I write of does […]

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Family ghosts

Knoxville

Knoxville seems like an odd place for a Chinaman. Yet that’s where my father landed as a college student in 1950. It was his first taste of America. After Dad died, Mom showed me his diploma from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Dated 19 December 1952, it awarded to my father his Bachelor of […]

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Art Travel

Dirt

Dirt can’t be art, can it? Art is the stuff we see in museums, guarded by plexiglass and motion detection cameras. Or maybe you know some high-end folks who collect the stuff. Paintings, snuff boxes, whatever. That art may be valuable or not. You might like it or not. You have to study art in […]

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Craft Creative writing workshops

Writing the Other

I grew up reading Louise May Alcott. I still have copies of all her books: dog-eared, broken-backed, and beloved. On the rare occasions when I get sick, it’s a toss-up between Alcott and Jane Austen as comfort reading. One of Alcott’s books, Eight Cousins, features a white character (Annabel) who marries the “highly satisfactory Chinaman”, […]

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Censorship China Taiwan Tibet

A Style Manual

When I think of a style manual, I think about punctuation. To use or not to use the Oxford comma. To write a number in letters or in Roman numerals. The purpose of a style manual is to create consistency in the writing, formatting, and design of a publication. So, every now and again, I […]