Saturday, 21 October 2017

500 Words from Alice Poon

500 words from is an occasional series in which novelists talk about their newly-published novels.

Alice Poon, author of The Green Phoenix, a novel of Old China, currently lives in Canada but she was born and educated in Hong Kong.  She grew up devouring Jin Yong’s martial arts and chivalry novels, all set in China’s distant past. That sparked her ambition to write historical novels of her own.

The Green Phoenix tells the story of the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang, born a Mongolian princess, who became a consort in the Manchu court and then the Qing Dynasty’s first matriarch. She lived through harrowing threats, endless political crises, personal heartaches and painful losses to lead a shaky empire out of a dead end. The story is set against a turbulent canvas as the Chinese Ming Dynasty is replaced by the Qing. Xiaozhuang guides her husband, her lover, her son and her grandson  to success against the odds, and to the creation of an empire that lasted for 250 years.

So, over to Alice…

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Backlist books: I Am a Cat by Sōseki Natsume

Backlist books is a column by Lucy Day Hobor that focuses on enduring, important works from or about Asia.

This post is about I Am a Cat, a series of semi-related stories published serially in 1905 and 1906 that provide a satirical look at Meiji-era Japan through the eyes of a smug young housecat.

Either eminent Japanese novelist Sōseki Natsume (1867 – 1916), also known for his novels Kokoro and Botchan, was prescient for choosing an uppity lolcat as his narrator, or that special attitude cats have has always been apt to make us laugh.

See below to find out what you need to know to decide whether you should read I Am a Cat, or what you should know about it even if you never do!

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Just quickly...

Click for the opportunity to get trained to lead a writing workshop in Cambodia with Writing Through. You don’t need to be a writer, poet, or teacher and you don’t need to move to Cambodia. Training is scheduled for Friday, 27 October in Central Singapore.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

500 words from Stephanie Han

500 words from is an occasional series in which novelists and short story writers talk about their newly-published books.

Stephanie Han is an American with family roots in Korea. She now divides her time between Hong Kong and Hawaii, home of her family since 1904. Her short stories cross the borders and boundaries of Hong Kong, Korea, and the United States.

Swimming in Hong Kong is Stephanie’s debut collection. It has won wide praise, including from Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer. It explores the geography of hope and love, as its characters struggle with dreams of longing and home, and wander in the myths of memory and desire.

So, over to Stephanie…

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Guest post: Nicky Harman on translating Happy Dreams, by Jia Pingwa

Although few of his novels are currently translated into English, Jia Pingwa is one of China’s most popular novelists. UK-based Nicky Harman translates from Chinese into English, and spends time promoting contemporary Chinese fiction to the general English-language reader.

Nicky’s translation of Jia Pingwa’s
高兴, Happy Dreams, has just been published.

Happy Dreams concerns Hawa 'Happy' Liu’s search for a life that lives up to his self-given name. He travels from his rural home to the city of Xi’an, taking with him only an eternally positive attitude, his devoted best friend Wufu, and a pair of high-heeled women’s shoes he hopes to slip onto the feet of the yet to be found love of his life.

In Xi’an, Happy and Wufu find jobs as trash pickers sorting through the city's dumps. But Happy refuses to be crushed by circumstance: in his eyes, life is what you make of it. His optimism seems justified when he meets a beautiful girl: surely she is the one to fill the shoes? But when harsh conditions and the crush of societal inequalities take the life of his friend, Happy needs more than just optimism to hold on to the belief that something better is possible.

Here, Nicky discusses translating 高兴

Saturday, 30 September 2017

StoryDrive Asia

The Singapore Book Publishers Association and Frankfurt Book Fair are jointly organising the 2017 StoryDrive Asia conference on 13-14 November, at the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore.

The two-day conference is aimed at authors - published and unpublished - publishers, marketing managers, editors, rights and license managers, and service providers. It will cover topics such as copyright and licensing, e-production, sales, new marketing strategies and trends, international business, new technologies, future ways of storytelling like virtual reality and augmented reality, and cross-media sales.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Indie spotlight: Soulla Christodoulou

Indie spotlight is our monthly column on self-publishing. This month our regular columnist, Tim Gurung, chats to Soulla Christodoulou, author of the women’s fiction titles Broken Pieces of Tomorrow, and the forthcoming The Summer Will Come, about her experience of self-publishing.