Friday, 10 March 2017

Touring China with a shady Frenchman, by William L. Gibson

In the Land of Pagodas: A forgotten tour through late Qing China with a fugitive Frenchman by Alfred Raquez edited and translated by William L. Gibson and Paul Bruthiaux is a book of travel history, with an intriguing history of its own.

It is the first English translation of Raquez’s long out-of-print account of a tour he took through China at the end of the 19th Century.

Here William L. Gibson, an American writer and translator based in Jakarta, explains how and why the In the Land of Pagodas has now been made available to new readers, everywhere.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

International Women's Day: be bold for change.

To celebrate International Women's Day, and its theme be bold for change, here are six thoughts about women and literacy in Asia.

Since the launch of the Merali University Scholarship Program for Disadvantaged Women in 2010, The Asia Foundation, in partnership with The Merali Foundation, has enabled hundreds of disadvantaged female students, predominantly from underserved rural areas, to successfully pursue undergraduate degrees. This woman is studying in Cambodia.

Friday, 3 March 2017

John Grant Ross debunks myths about China

At a time when so much attention is focused on alternative facts, You Don’t Know China by John Grant Ross, author of Formosan Odyssey, reminds us that the Trump administration doesn’t have a monopoly on bending the truth – either deliberately, or through carelessness.

You Don’t Know China amusingly debunks twenty-two enduring myths about China, ranging from history and economics to language and food. Does Chinese medicine work? Did Marco Polo really go to China? Is the fortune cookie Chinese? What's the truth about Feng Shui?  It is occasionally controversial, exploring, for instance, Chinese isolationism, myths about Nixon in China, and cherished beliefs about the Opium Wars. 

John Grant Ross here offers a glimpse into his book, by explaining the Great Wall is neither a single wall, nor particularly ancient, by taking a wrecking ball to some commonly held ideas about acupuncture, and by asking if it's really true that Mandarin will soon become a world language.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

OUP organises its first digital learning roadshow in Pakistan

Yesterday, 21 February, Oxford University Press Pakistan (OUP) organised its first Digital Education Roadshow at the head office in Karachi. The event was held as part of OUP’s search for business partners who can provide cutting-edge solutions that contribute to OUP’s vision of enhancing learning through quality digital resources.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Writing retreats in Asia (and Iceland)

Attention writers! Authors at Large is now accepting applications for three writing retreats this summer.  Each retreat includes private time for writing workshops in fiction and nonfiction led by a network of published, award-winning author-teachers and time for informal salons and conversations about the writing life.  The dates are:
Siglufjörður, Iceland May 27 to June 1 - deadline for applications March 11
Hua Hin, Thailand July 16 to 22 - deadline for applications June 2
Telunas Private Island, Indonesia July 23 to 28 - deadline for applications June 2

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Lion City Lit: The Eloquent Orifice by Lucía Damacela

Asian Books Blog is based in Singapore. Lion City Lit explores in-depth what’s going on in the City-State, lit-wise.  In Lucía Damacela’s fourth installment of her series about Singapore online literary magazines, her focus is on The Eloquent Orifice.
Founded in 2013 by a group of creative professionals, including the current Editor-in-Chief Crispin Rodrigues and Creative Director Geraldine Tan, The Eloquent Orifice (EO) is an online academic literary journal created to bring the arts “within reach of those who believe in the power of critical thought, active discussion and passionate creation in the shaping of contemporary society.”
EO is always open for submissions of original literary pieces, articles and art works. Published twice a year, one issue is out at the beginning and one at the end of the year. Their sixth and seventh issues combined are soon to be released.
Geraldine Tan, an editor and writer currently doing post-graduate studies in Melbourne, and Crispin Rodrigues, and educator, writers and editor, responded to questions about the magazine’s history, purpose and functioning.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017


Hello anybody out there...After the temporary closure since November, the blog will be reopening tomorrow, with normal service resumed within 2 weeks - when I get back to Singapore from the USA.