"Money won’t save us. Things won’t save us. We’ve failed our moral responsibility to be stewards of this planet. I hope this epiphany arrives, and I hope it leads to change." Rumaan Alam
Posts tagged "China"
Ah Fang's lamp

Ah Fang’s lamp

People often have grey days, just as there are sometimes grey skies. I walked down that wet little side street, and every single door was shut. Raindrops rapped on the concrete road, rat-a-tat-tat, spattering echoes in the empty street. Gazing at the leaden cloud, the monotonous sound of rain all around, an indescribable gloom welled...
Chinese Almanac

Chinese Almanac

My father lives by the Chinese Almanac (通勝) – it tells fortunes. Like when might be a good day to marry your lover or move house or landscape a garden. Me, I have no truck with that kind of hocus-pocus. Keep it simple. Two rules: you don’t turn down food; you stay the fuck out...
Fatima Bhutto: Culture shifts

Fatima Bhutto: Culture shifts

In New Kings of the World, with customary wit and insight, Fatima Bhutto investigates how Bollywood, Turkish soap operas and K-pop are leading an emerging cultural movement that represents the biggest challenge to America’s monopoly on soft power since the end of the Second World War. The film below touches on some of the main...
Missing person

Missing person

One day ten years ago, during a summer of no rain, I sat in a rented room in the south of Xi’an listening to a man from my old village as he poured out his story. He stuttered so his story came out in fits and starts. Behind the bed curtain, his wife was sobbing...
A fetching destination

A fetching destination

It’s not every day I find myself eyeing up pornographic imagery with a Chinese man and a veiled-up African Muslim woman. The three of us were gathered around a counter and inspecting some aphrodisiac pills, the packaging of which displayed a photo of a man (with what I pray was a prosthetic penis) in session...
Never happier

Never happier

When I first came across Jia Pingwa’s Gaoxing (高兴: Happy) in 2007, I felt an immediate empathy with this handful of migrant workers collecting the trash of a sprawling Chinese metropolis, and being treated like trash too. In the novel, now published as Happy Dreams, Happy Liu and his fellow villager Wufu arrive in Xi’an...
It must be love

It must be love

I sat Yichun on a park bench while I hunkered down to crack the walnuts with a stone. Her face was the same color as the flowers nearby, and I went into a sort of trance as I bashed away. One must have had a mind of its own because, after I struck it, it...
Jonathan Tel: The great and the small

Jonathan Tel: The great and the small

Jonathan Tel has won the 2016 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award for ‘The Human Phonograph’, in which a woman is reunited with her geologist husband at a remote Chinese nuclear base in Qinghai in the early years of the Cultural Revolution. It’s a flashback moment in a series of interlinked stories that make up...
Sarah Howe: Remaking memory

Sarah Howe: Remaking memory

On 10 December 2015, Hong Kong-born British poet Sarah Howe was awarded the revived Sunday Times/Peters, Fraser & Dunlop Young Writer of the Year award for her remarkable debut collection Loop of Jade. Also shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and in the running for the T.S. Eliot Prize to be announced...
Dogs both big and small

Dogs both big and small

Novels are weighty tomes. Short stories fill a few pages. When we pick up a novel that’s as thick as a brick, or open the first book of a series whose volumes might reach our waist if stacked on the floor, we tremble with awe. Compared to a novel, a short story seems as inconsequential...