Stealing with the Eyes – out in May 2018

I’m very pleased to see the cover of Stealing with the Eyes, my memoir of anthropology and Indonesia, due out from Haus Publishing in 2018.

The cover image is a photograph I took of Saumlaki harbour in Tanimbar back in 1994. I dug it out of a shoebox and scanned the transparency.

Stealing with the Eyes
Stealing with the Eyes

I’ll say more about the book closer to the publication date. I’ve set up a page for it on this website, although it is currently a bit skeletal. The book is also available for pre-order, including from Amazon.

The Rocket Dog is Launched!

Today is the official launch date for Lucy and the Rocket Dog. 🚀🐶🎈🎊🎉

I’m not going to beat around the bush here. I think it would be an excellent thing if you all went and bought a copy.

If you like any of the following, there’s a chance you’ll like it: space, rockets, dogs, space-dogs, space-rabbits, love stories, Einstein, time dilation, girl scientists, jokes about philosophers, and unexpectedly happy endings.

This page has links for you to buy from evil and non-evil outlets, in the UK and US, according to your preference.

Lucy and the Rocket Dog — Coming Soon!

The advance reader’s copies of my children’s novel, Lucy and the Rocket Dog arrived in the post this morning, with illustrations by the exceptionally talented Monica Arnaldo, and they look absolutely stunning. The book is about a girl scientist, her dog, the theory of relativity, time dilation, space worms, friendship, loss and the here, there and everywhereness of space. It is due to be published by Knopf in the USA in the summer of 2017.

Making Books, Making Ourselves

A couple of days ago I arrived in Beijing, and I hit the ground running, with two events yesterday — a school visit and a novel-writing workshop – and three events today. So there’s not much time in between the blog. But I thought I’d post this picture of my new book, Sixty-Four Chance Pieces: it’s hugely exciting to see get my hands on a real, physical copy.

 

Chance Pieces

 

The book is so hot off the press that I haven’t got my author copies yet. This one is borrowed from the people at the Beijing Bookworm Literature Festival, where I’m launching the book later this evening (the launch is just next door at iQiYi cafe, where I’m writing this). So it’s not yet generally available, although if you are in Beijing, come to the Bookworm and buy yourself a copy. For the rest of the world, it may be a couple of weeks before it filters through to distributors.

Writing books is strange. Before I started on this project, I hadn’t planned to get involved in all of this thinking about China and Chinese thought. I had never been to China. I didn’t speak a word of Chinese. But as readers and writers, the books we get involved with shape us. And for me, it has never been more true than in the case of this particular book. We make things. And in making things, these things in turn make and remake us.

Anyway, come along to the launch tonight if you are in Beijing. And if not, I’ll post again on this blog when the book is available on general release.

Prisoners on Tanimbar?

I got home yesterday to find an exciting package waiting for me: a small parcel from France, inside of which was a copy of a French comic dating from the 1960s. It was a copy of Akim (no. 247, to be precise), which started life in Italy as a knock-off copy of Tarzan. Akim ran from 1950 to 1967 in Italy, and had an afterlife in France where it continued to be published until 1991. Issue no. 247 dates from the French period, and the reason I got hold of it is that I’m currently writing a book on the Tanimbar islands in Indonesia, so when I saw that there was a French comic from the sixties telling an exciting tale of  imprisonment in Tanimbar (‘La Prison de Tanimbar’), as a thorough researcher, I thought I had to get myself a copy. Besides, ‘La Prison de Tanimbar’ had a magnificent cover, which I cannot resist sharing. Read more

Images from the British Library

This morning Twitter is all a-twitter with news that the excellent people at the British Library have released a million images over on Flickr under nicely non-restrictive licences so that they can be re-used, re-mixed and re-purposed. This is exactly the kind of thing that an organisation such as the British Library should be doing, and so it is a cause for celebration. After a quick search through some of the images, I thought I’d share this one, which is one of my favourites, from Mrs. Archibald Little’s 1899 book, Intimate China: the Chinese as I Have Seen Them (what do you mean, you haven’t heard of it…? Best head over to the internet archive and download the whole book!)

Anyway, the image caption says “Sacred Tiger”, although I can’t help thinking that this might be a typo, and that it should say, “Scared Tiger”, or perhaps “Anxious Tiger”.

Sacred Tiger, from  "Intimate China. The Chinese as I have seen them" 1899
Sacred Tiger, from “Intimate China. The Chinese as I have seen them” 1899

 

You can find the rest of the photo-stream by following the link HERE.

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