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Flute Player by Saif Al-Taie

Shanghai Noir

The Dancing Girl and the Turtle: publication date 01.04.2017

This stunning painting is by the Syrian artist Saif Al-Taie. It's on display at Pages Bookstore Cafe Amsterdam, part of a larger exhibit of cartoonists envisioning Syria before, during and after the revolution. Saif's painting is titled "Flute Player". It reminds me of a work in the Japanese print collection of Nihon no hanga by the master Tsukioka Yoshitoshi. I suppose there's something universal about making music in the face of disaster.

Pages Bookstore was the warm and inviting venue for my first co-hosted reading last weekend. Together with the irrepressible Dipika Mukherjee, we assembled a collection of storytellers, poets and fiction writers. Even more astonishing was the number of people who showed up on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Amsterdam. As one observer noted: we rocked!

It was a great warm-up for my second book tour through California. This time I'll be staying close to home: LA, Orange and San Diego counties.

  • On Friday October 13 from 12-1pm, there's an informal "brown bag lunch" hosted by Jeff Wasserstrom, professor of Chinese history at my college alma mater, UC Irvine.
  • Saturday, October 14, will be my 40th high school reunion at Ramona Convent Secondary School. Ay ay ay.
  • From 7-9pm on Wednesday, October 18, I'll be speaking to the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California. My speech? Silent and Submissive: Asian Writers Speak Out.
  • The next day, I'll be addressing more than 150 Ramona students on topics ranging from careers, public speaking and the damage silence can do.
  • Last but not least, the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum and APHAFIC will be co-hosting an author meet & greet on Saturday, October 21 from 2-4pm. I'll be discussing Sino-Japanese relations in Old Shanghai.
All of these events are free of charge and open to the public, other than the ones at Ramona. You can find out more information on my events page. Please join us!

If you can't come, never fear. I won't be abandoning you while I'm off in sunny Southern California. This week's blog post, Ghost Month, originally appeared as part of my book blog tour. Here it is now, for your reading pleasure.

Genesis of a Quartet
Book Club Questions
A Book Blog Tour
Martial Arts

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