Historical fiction Jewish Shanghai Shanghai The Shanghai Quartet

The Smell of Opium

Max Lazerich is 16 years old when he runs away from home. He doesn’t want to work in his father’s soda shop. He won’t take school seriously. His dream is to see the world and so he does. The Smell of Opium is my novel-in-progress about a naive Jewish kid from New Jersey coming of […]

Chinese-American Craft Politics

Mine mine mine

For me, writing is a series of synapses: firing, sparking, veering off into places unknown. I connect a newspaper article with a podcast with drinks last night with an incident in the park this morning. Writing is both an act and a release. The deliberate use of my imagination in order to drive the train […]

Family ghosts Shanghai

A Pretty Girl

My father once had a very pretty cousin named May. She came from his mother’s side of the family, jewelers from Wuzhen (乌镇). I’d love to see Wuzhen’s wood-crafted homes and ancient bridges, though I hear that few Chinese still inhabit the place. In my grandmother’s time, though, it was a bustling town. Her father was […]