LA Review of Books: City of Reinvention

I took a short break from the LA Review of Books China Blog this spring, as I had conferences to attend and a dissertation to write, but I’m back now and returning to my schedule of posting there once every month or so. My latest post, a review of Amy Tan’s recent novel The ValleyContinue reading LA Review of Books: City of Reinvention”

Bookshelf: And the City Swallowed Them

Late one night in July 2008, a 22-year-old Canadian model named Diana O’Brien died in the stairwell of her Shanghai apartment building after being stabbed more than 20 times. O’Brien’s assailant was Chen Jun, an 18-year-old migrant worker from impoverished Anhui Province. Like O’Brien, Chen had traveled to Shanghai without proper papers, hoping to wedgeContinue reading “Bookshelf: And the City Swallowed Them

Never Apologize for Reading What You Like: Or, the Lesson I’ve Learned from Jennifer Weiner’s Books

I have never been ahead of trends. I always hear about good television shows when they’re well into their second or third seasons; I mainly buy clothes when they’re on the clearance rack, meaning that they’re already out of style; I did not start eating kale, quinoa, or polenta until they showed up a TraderContinue reading “Never Apologize for Reading What You Like: Or, the Lesson I’ve Learned from Jennifer Weiner’s Books”

From Sea to Shining Sea—By Train

For a cross-country trip, taking the train doesn’t make much sense. It’s far slower than flying, and more expensive to boot. But my mother and I both love riding trains and have been talking about doing a big trip for years, so we finally decided that last week’s graduation in Southern California provided the perfectContinue reading “From Sea to Shining Sea—By Train”

Five Photos from the Tiananmen Vigil in Hong Kong

There are some amazing photographs at Business Insider from last night’s candlelight vigil in Hong Kong commemorating the June Fourth anniversary. Mine aren’t quite that good! But I did my best with the tools I had (a Canon PowerShot and my iPhone). I arrived at Victoria Park at 6:30, with the vigil scheduled to beginContinue reading “Five Photos from the Tiananmen Vigil in Hong Kong”

Tiananmen at 25: Massive Reading Round-Up, June 3 Edition

Edward Wong of the New York Times tweeted the above yesterday, but I’m afraid the Chinese authorities are trying to close the barn door after the horse has escaped. As you can see below, foreign media are publishing Tiananmen stories left and right, and I’m afraid I did a very bad job trying to keepContinue reading “Tiananmen at 25: Massive Reading Round-Up, June 3 Edition”

Bookshelf: Lean In and Leftover Women

Possibly the most commented-on thing I’ve ever written online came about when I said that I didn’t really want to read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, a bestseller in which the Facebook COO encourages young women to take charge of their careers and aim for the top. Even thoughContinue reading “Bookshelf: Lean In and Leftover Women