Tag: China

Beautiful Country: A Memoir by Qian Julie Wang

For the first three-quarters or so of this book, I was absolutely enthralled. Qian Julie Wang tells the story of her relatively prosperous, if politically oppressed life in Northern China before her Ba Ba emigrates to America, followed by herself and her Ma Ma five years later. They overstay their visas, becoming undocumented while Ba …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2021/09/14/beautiful-country-a-memoir-by-qian-julie-wang/

Son of Heaven by David Wingrove

I remember seeing David Wingrove’s Chung Kuo books back in the 1980s and 1990s. They looked like a big, pulpish series set in a future dominated by China. A little while back, I picked up Son of Heaven, which says it’s Chung Kuo #1, thinking I would look in on this series and maybe set …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/28/son-of-heaven-by-david-wingrove/

The Boxer Rebellion by Diana Preston

Boxer Rebellion

Distinguishing a warning that should be heeded from a host of false positives is a famously hard problem. The foreign community in Peking, as it was then generally called in the West, failed that test in the summer of 1900, costing many hundreds of lives. The Boxer Rebellion concentrates on the defense of the Legation …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/24/the-boxer-rebellion-by-diana-preston/

Yikes

Son of Heaven

Sometimes speculative fiction is just a little too on the nose: The Republicans, coming to power …, wanted to do away with free trade. In a frenzy of nationalist rhetoric, they sought to replace globalization with protectionist tariffs. They wanted to pull up the economic drawbridge, just as their predecessors had after the Wall Street …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/21/yikes/

Barry Hughart, 1934–2019

Bridge of Birds

“I shall clasp my hands together and bow to the corners of the world “My surname is Lu and my personal name is Yu, but I am not to be confused with the eminent author of The Classic of Tea. My family is quite undistinguished, and since I am the tenth of my father’s sons …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/17/barry-hughart-1934-2019/

A Hero Born by Jin Yong

“The Chinese Lord of the Rings.” Or, as translator Anna Holmwood puts it in her introduction, “one of the world’s best-loved stories and one of its grandest epics, a series that can count its fans in the hundreds of millions. And yet this is the first time it has been published in English, despite making …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2018/05/11/a-hero-born-by-jin-yong/

Wrapping Up

Time for some short takes, to mostly clear the desk for the coming year. The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest. In the fourth of her five Clockwork Century novels, Priest takes a stab at telling her story mostly from the point of view of an unsympathetic narrator. Rector Sherman is an addict, hooked on the “sap,” …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/12/22/wrapping-up-2/

China Among Equals edited by Morris Rossabi

“Of interest mainly to specialists” is one of those phrases that reviewers often use to suggest, however gently, that a book is terribly dull and that no one outside of a select audience should read it. With a subtitle that reads The Middle Kingdom and its Neighbors, 10th-14th Centuries, China Among Equals is clearly aimed …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2017/07/02/china-among-equals-edited-by-morris-rossabi/

Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos

One of the hazards of getting a blurb for your book from someone who has written a great book on a closely related subject is that it invites comparisons. Age of Ambition — subtitled Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China — has a blurb from Peter Hessler, whose three books on contemporary …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/04/19/age-of-ambition-by-evan-osnos/

Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart

Delight, verve, brio, glee, panache, all of these are in Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds, the first of three books in the chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox, set in what he calls “an ancient China that never was.” Here is how it starts: I shall clasp my hands together and bow to …

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2015/03/15/bridge-of-birds-by-barry-hughart/