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About Karen Kao

Looking back

Looking back has never seemed like a healthy thing to do. It smacks of false memories, a twee sort of nostalgia that renders yesterday so much more golden than the palette of today. But looking back is what writers do at this time of the year and so I heed the call. On the road […]

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China Family ghosts Shanghai War

School days

Today is Dad’s 97th birthday. He’s not around anymore to tell us his stories but I find new ones every day. About his school days in China, for example. China in the late 19th century didn’t have an established higher education system, but rather scattered private academies that helped train scholars to pass the imperial […]

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poetry

A virtual book launch: take 2

Last Thursday, Fee Griffin launched her debut poetry collection, For Work / For TV. Her publisher is Versal Editions, the brand new Amsterdam-based, internationally-oriented small press. Versal invited me to participate. I completely misunderstood my remit. Instead of reading one of Fee’s poems and then extemporizing on the subject for 10 long minutes, I got […]