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Books Travel

Stargazing

Hobart is the capital of Tasmania. It was founded in 1804 as a British penal colony. We’ve come here to learn about Australia’s convict past. Secretly, my plan is to catch a glimpse of the stars. One such star is David Walsh, founder of the Museum of Old and New Art that lies a ferry […]

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Books Film Korea Travel

Too Much of a Good Thing

It seemed like a good idea at the time. To read as much as I could before we left on our round-the-world trip. In some cases, I chose our stops based on the novels I had read or movies we had seen. Four novels and three films dictated my choices in South Korea. Looking back […]

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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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Books

Memory

A writer friend recently asked me to recommend books about memory. I ran into my basement to pore through my collection. Some books I can remember by title or author, some by their memorable characters, all of them by the look of a cover. Memory is a sensory act. For me, visual clues evoke memories. […]

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Books Craft Travel

Writing on the Road

On the road sounds mythic, doesn’t it? Think about Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation. Or, if you’ve been binge-watching old movies these days, you’ll know all about Bing Crosby and Bob Hope on the road to some place exotic. Writing while on the road is a whole other ball of wax. Could I do […]

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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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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 […]

Categories
Books Travel

Novel Navigation

Reading and writing is what I do. Every day, all day, seven days in the week. My husband does the same thing and our house in Amsterdam perfectly accommodates us both. So why leave home? And yet that’s exactly what we’re going to do. Travel around the world for 7 months. Go to countries we’ve […]

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Blogging Books

The Accidental Reviewer

My life as a book reviewer started when I joined Goodreads. I’d been told it would be good for me as an author to connect with my potential readers. If you’re a Goodreads Author (a self-identified category), you can fill your profile with photos and videos, author events and, of course, what you thought of […]

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Amsterdam Author event Books Language Publishing

Female Language

The bookshop is small but well-stocked. It occupies a narrow windowless space like most places in this part of Amsterdam. At the far end of the shop sits Sheila Heti, waiting to talk about her latest novel, Motherhood. We join the crowd. We are four women in a sea of female faces. Three of us […]