Open a book this minute and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve. Carol Shields Republic of Love

Chinese Girls: In Fiction, In Photos

Bette Bao Lord’s In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (1984) opens when Bandit is living in China in her grandparents’ home. She is ten years old (nine in Western birthdays) and she is about to learn that she will be going to live in the United States.

  “Holding Precious […]

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Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016): Third Variation

This is the third of three posts spiralling around the notes made while reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Each with ten parts. Thirty segments. As though my post is the aria and the thirty segments are the variations. In recognition of the importance which Bach’s Goldberg Variations holds in relationship to the novel.

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Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016): Second Variation

This is the second of three posts spiralling around the notes made while reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Each with ten parts. Thirty segments. As though my post is the aria and the thirty segments are the variations. In recognition of the importance which Bach’s Goldberg Variations holds in relationship to the novel.

Although […]

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Madeleine Thien’s Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016): First Variation

This will be the first of three posts spiralling around notes made while reading Do Not Say We Have Nothing.

Each with ten parts. Thirty segments. As though my post is the aria and the thirty segments are the variations.

In recognition of the importance which Bach’s Goldberg Variations holds in relationship to the novel.

[…]

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In My Reading Log

The majority of my reading time this year has been devoted to the books which have been living for years, though neglected, on my own bookshelves. In May and June, I had a planned rebellion, and I enjoyed a great number of new books. But now I have returned to my own shelves once more.

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Summer Reading To-Do List for Sunny Days (1 of 4)

Such good reading this summer, so far. In other respects, perhaps mine has not been the most productive summer. But it all depends what one puts on a to-do list, doesn’t it! What if your to-do list was all about the books in your stacks?

Doubleday Canada – Penguin Random House, 2015

For satire junkies: 

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Denise Chong’s Lives of the Family (2013)

Listening to an interview with Amy Tan, for the Guardian book club, I was struck by the fact that she lifted many of the stories from her mother’s life for the pages of her work.

Yet, while reading Lives of the Family, it is easy to imagine so many of these stories slipping into the […]

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Janie Chang’s Three Souls (2013)

An engrossing story, a compelling narrative voice: Three Souls is an easy book to recommend.

Because of the setting and romantic elements of the story, it’s tempting to draw comparisons with the novels of Amy Tan and Ai Mi.

Given the readability, one might think of Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees and […]

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Ai Mi’s Under the Hawthorn Tree (2012)

What makes for a love letter during the Cultural Revolution in China would have Heathcliff and Catherine shaking their heads.

Maybe two or three pages of discussing China’s excellent international and domestic circumstances, then the fortunate conditions of provincial and city life, and those of friends and class-mates.

These formalities cannot be overlooked, and, indeed, […]

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