Chance Pieces on Creative Transformations Asia Blog

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A few weeks back Michael Keane, who is a Professor of Chinese Media at Curtin University and who runs the Digital China Lab, wrote a very generous review of my Sixty-Four Chance Pieces over on the Creative Transformations Asia blog. Here’s an extract. There is so much in the book to savour if you like a taste of magic realism …

Goats, Blogs and Chinese Travels

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It has been very busy recently, with moving house back home in the UK, and then — only a few days later — relocating to China for a year. I’m here in China to take up an associate professorship at Sichuan University, in the College of Literature and Journalism. About which more below. But first, I should say something about goats! …

Sixty-Four Chance Pieces in the Asian Review of Books

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Jonathan Chatwin has written a very nice piece in the Asian Review of Books about my Sixty-Four Chance Pieces. We met up the other week down in Birmingham, and spent an enjoyable Saturday morning talking about writing, China and other matters. Here’s an extract from Jonathan’s write-up: The tales of Sixty Four Chance Pieces wear the scholarly and creative struggles of their creator lightly. …

More on those four great mysteries…

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When I was in Suzhou a few weeks ago, I gave a talk about my Sixty-Four Chance Pieces at the wonderful Bookworm bookshop, called ‘Four Great Mysteries’ (see the blog post here). In preparation for the talk, I scrawled the following notes, and although the talk itself diverged occasionally wildly from what I’ve written here (the wine helped, as did the fun of …

Sixty-Four Chance Pieces: the China Book Tour

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I’m currently busy with packing my bags for China, and heading back to Beijing after an unforgivably long period (almost five years!), to take part in the Bookworm Literary Festival / 老书虫文学节 (see http://bookwormfestival.com). I’ve got a pretty busy schedule: something like fourteen events in as many days, in Beijing, Chengdu, Suzhou and Ningbo. It’s taken some organisational ingenuity to …

Fashionable topics

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I’ve just finished reading Julia Lovell’s translation of Lao She’s wonderful novel, Mr. Ma and Son, and I thought I’d share the following short quote. In the book, the hapless ex-missionary, Reverend Ely, is trying to persuade Mr. Ma to write a book comparing Western and Chinese cultures. The good clergyman is not entirely disinterested in his urging, because he himself is working on a book called A …

Writing China, at the Nottingham Festival of Words

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I’m delighted to be participating in the international launch event at the 2014 Nottingham Festival of Words, along with two fellow-novelists, the Nottingham-based Rhiannon Tsang (The Woman who Lost China, Open Books 2013), and the Beijing-based Karen Ma (Excess Baggage, China Books 2013). Between the three of us, we’ll be talking about ‘Writing China’.

A Book of Changes

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I’m very pleased to be able to announce that I’ve just signed the contract on my novel-of-sorts, “A Book of Changes: Sixty-four Chance Pieces” with the excellent Earnshaw Books, purveyors of all good things China-related. The book should be out some time in the first quarter of next year, and will be available in the UK, USA and East Asia. …