Categories
Art Taiwan Travel

A Traveling Circus

The National Palace Museum is the pride of Taiwan. Travel guides hail it as the best and the largest of its kind. A must-see collection of Chinese art and artifacts. Taiwan is our first destination on the journey that took my husband and me around the world in the 7 months before Covid-19 struck. We […]

Categories
Censorship China Politics

Truth or Consequences

The people of Thebes are dying. They beseech King Oedipus to save them, as he had once freed them from the clutches of the Sphinx. The oracle promises the plague will pass if Thebes finds the murderer of old king Laius. So Oedipus Rex vows: I will begin again; I will find the truth. Last […]

Categories
Craft Family ghosts Revolution Shanghai

Socialism Is Great!

When I started work on my novel Peace Court, I looked for sources to feed my imagination. I found plenty of history books but almost no fiction that dwelt on Shanghai in the early 1950s. Certainly none that originated from inside China. I wondered why that was the case. This is what I learned. revolutionary […]

Categories
Family ghosts Hong Kong Shanghai

Qipao

When I was writing The Dancing Girl and the Turtle, I thought I knew the difference between a qipao and a cheongsam. Both, to be sure, were dresses for women. But in my mind, the former was figure-hugging while the latter was loose. I wanted to use that distinction to show how my main character […]

Categories
Craft Family ghosts Historical fiction Shanghai noir

A Reading List

My novel The Dancing Girl and the Turtle is set in Shanghai 1937. Does any story set in the past qualify as historical fiction? Hilary Mantel says historical fiction must do far more than dredge up the past: A relation of past events bring[s] you up against events and mentalities that, should you choose to describe […]