Archive for the ‘China’ Category

KINDER THAN SOLITUDE by Yiyun Li

“Perhaps there is a line in everyone’s life that, once crossed, imparts a certain truth that one has not been able to see before, transforming solitude from a choice into the only possible line of existence.” For four friends, that line was crossed during their late teenage years, when one of them was poisoned, perhaps deliberately, perhaps accidentally, lingering in a physical limbo state until she finally dies years later. The young man, Boyang, remains in China; the two young women, Ruyu and Moran, move to the United States. Each ends up living in what the author describes as a “life-long quarantine against love and life.”

March 21, 2014 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: California, Character Driven, China, Contemporary, Literary, US Midwest, World Lit

JUNKYARD PLANET by Adam Minter

It was probably just a coincidence that we put up our holiday lights today. The setting up of the twinkling bulbs is probably as much of an annual tradition as its other unfortunate side-effect: practically every year, we discover some strands that just don’t work. Now imagine the same scene being played out in every American household. That’s a lot of unwanted strands of Christmas lights. As it happens bales upon bales of these get exported to China, where workers set upon them stripping the wires free of insulation to get at the copper that is one of the most valuable raw commodities a booming China needs. The demand for raw goods — copper, steel, aluminum — in rapidly growing countries like China is fueling a global demand for all kinds of scrap be it metal, plastic and even rags (white rags can be turned into paper).

December 13, 2013 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: China, Non-fiction

REAMDE by Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson’s REAMDE, a play on words for the ReadMe file that accompanies many computer programs, is above all a wild adventure/detective story set in the present day. As one would expect from this author, current technology features prominently. The cast of characters is international, offering windows into such diverse types as Russian gangsters, Chinese hackers, American entrepreneurs, Idaho survivalists and second amendment fanatics among many others.

September 30, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Allegory/Fable, China, Scifi, Thriller/Spy/Caper, US Northwest, y Award Winning Author

SATORI by Don Winslow

SATORI, by Don Winslow, is a prequel to the best-selling thriller, SHIBUMI, by Trevanian. Trevanian introduced the world to Nicholai Hel, master of hodo korusu, “the naked kill.” Hel speaks six languages, is a master of the game “Go,” and has a special proximity sense – the ability to detect when any person or thing is nearby. As SATORI opens in 1951, the Korean war is in full swing and the Americans have had Nicholai in solitary confinement for three years for the honor killing of his beloved stepfather, General Kishikawa.

March 7, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags:  · Posted in: China, Japan, Korea, Thriller/Spy/Caper, y Award Winning Author

UNDER FISHBONE CLOUDS by Sam Meekings

If UNDER FISHBONE CLOUDS doesn’t attain the high readership it deserves, there is no justice. It’s quite simply one of the most lavishly imagined, masterfully researched, exquisitely written contemporary novels I’ve read. And if that sounds as if I’m gushing…well, it’s probably because I am.

December 7, 2010 · Judi Clark · One Comment
Tags: , , , , , , ,  · Posted in: 2010 Favorites, China, Facing History, Family Matters, World Lit

THREE SISTERS by Bi Feiyu

THREE SISTERS by Bi Feiyu is a tragicomic novel, a tongue-in-cheek parody, about three sisters in the Wang family living in Wang Family Village in rural China: “Many rural villages are populated mainly by families with the same surname.” The novel opens in 1971 and ends in 1982. It is structured like three novellas though it is described by the publisher as a novel. The book’s strength, and also its weakness, is that it is primarily comprised of character studies without a lot of plot. This can make it less accessible to some readers. Throughout the novel, the author utilizes Chinese proverbs, aphorisms and adages to make points. It comes out sounding something like a Greek chorus, adding a comic element to what is often heart-rending or calamitous.

August 9, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Character Driven, China, Translated, World Lit