Translation and travel. A readling list and a contest.
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West Lake, Hangzhou

This week's news from:
 Shanghai Lady

This silly sign comes from the West Lake in Hangzhou. There were plenty to be found as my family and I travelled around China in 2011. My favorite (sadly, uncaptured on film) was an advertisement posted inside the elevator of a swank hotel in Xi'An. Buy three, get two!

It's so easy to get a translation wrong. And even easier to underestimate the skill it takes to do the job right. But to translate a work of fiction? That's magic, as you will see in this week's blog post: Lost in Translation

I'm afraid that's going to have to do you for the next two weeks, while my husband and I take a holiday. It promises to be fun: art and architecture, hiking and biking, gardens and forests. You may catch a glimpse of it all if you follow me on Instagram @karenkao5. That is, assuming I figure out how it all works.

In any event, I'll have plenty of reading with me on this vacation. And since this is the season for summer reading lists, here's what I'm packing:

  • To catch up: my 3 month backlog of New Yorker magazines and the weekend edition of the Financial Times;
  • For fun: The Art of the Story, edited by Daniel Halpern (Penguin 1999), an international anthology of (then) contemporary short fiction;
  • As research for my current novel in progress: Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung (a/k/a the little red book) and,
  • To add a little more bellicosity to the holiday spirit, The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

I'll be back with this newsletter on August 10. At which point in time, I may be asking for your help. The Dancing Girl and the Turtle has just been nominated for the Not Booker Prize. This is a contest run by The Guardian newspaper in a combination of popular vote and juried curation. And while the prize is limited to a coffee mug branded with The Guardian logo, it could be invaluable publicity for my novel. So get ready: I'll be asking for your support as soon as the voting opens.

As they say in Texas cemetaries: vote early and often!

Kitten Heels
Customs House
Mine mine mine
Gong Ho

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