Tag: Books

  • Among China expats today, echoes of Orwell's time in Burma?

    At the recommendation of a friend in Beijing, I’ve been reading George Orwell’s Burmese Days. Coincidentally, Jane Perlez of The New York Times recently traveled to the real town Orwell was stationed in that inspires the novel’s setting. She calls the book “a scathing portrait of the imperious attitudes of the British, from this former colonial outpost on […]

  • A Literary Note: Benjamin Hale, Alexandra Kleeman, and LEAP

    It’s been a good few months for my more literary friends. Most recently, an old friend Ben Hale (website, blog) has published his first novel and received very good reviews, including in the New York Times Book Review. I was lucky enough to read The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore in proofs, and that copy is still […]

  • George Bush Sr.'s Frustrated Tenure in China

    One of George H. W. Bush’s less discussed jobs, lost among president of the United States, ambassador to the United Nations, and CIA director, was head of the U.S. Liaison Office in Beijing during the Nixon administration. Bush’s China journal has recently been published, and it reveals frustration at being made irrelevant by direct contacts […]

  • Librairie Avant-Garde – Brilliant Nanjing Bookstore

    Today, just as my wandering was turning into a walk home, I passed the Librairie Avant-Garde in Nanjing, a bookstore in an apparently never-used parking garage. Needless to say, I was not able to resist. Though its selection of foreign-language books is apparently zero, the range of subjects and the atmosphere of the store and […]

  • Spence's New Book: Scholarly or Not, a Borgesian Passage

    Jonathan Spence has a new book centered around a late-Ming intellectual Zhang Dai. I have not read the book (nor have I seen it yet in Beijing), but the folks at Frog in a Well have critiqued the New Republic review and it’s an interesting meta-discussion. Most interesting to me is a passage included by […]