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Some China-Related Holiday Gift Book Ideas

By Jeffrey Wasserstrom

This post continues a tradition, first begun at The China Beat (a publication that began a four-year run in 2008) and then carried on here more recently, of inviting contributors to recommend books they thought could make good holiday presents for those obsessed with or merely curious about the world’s most populous country.  What follows, in what will likely be the first in a two-part series, are multiple recommendations from contributors Paul French and Susan Blumberg-Kason and, starting things off, a single suggestion from Mengfei Chen, who wrote “Reading Middlemarch in Jiangxi” for this blog, while she was working in publishing in Beijing, and is now based back in California and will be joining the LARB team as co-editor of this blog. Continue reading

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2016 Releases from Dorothy, a Publishing Project

By Emily Wells

October was a thrilling month for Dorothy, a publishing project, a small press focused on publishing “fiction or near fiction or about fiction, mostly by women.” Dorothy releases their entire annual catalogue in October, in this year’s case, two small volumes: the first English translation of Suite for Barbara Loden by Nathalie Léger, and a collection of short fiction, The Babysitter at Rest by Jen George. The two books compliment each other well. Both are unconventional forays into the burdens of womanhood and storytelling, and are desperately concerned with what it means to be female and unfulfilled. Continue reading

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Enlightenment Fiction and the Birth of the “Modern” Korean Novel

By Charles Montgomery

The BLARB Korea Blog is currently featuring selections from The Explorer’s History of Korean Fiction in Translation, Charles Montgomery’s book-in-progress that attempts to provide a concise history and understanding of Korean literature as represented in translation. You can find links to previous selections at the end of the post. Continue reading

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Borges’ Ship: An Unjust Ruling Against Pablo Katchadjian

By Emmanuel Ordóñez Angulo

You’ve heard it time and time again: plagiarism is a sin, one which secures you a place in the Eighth Circle of Hell, among fellow thieves and falsifiers. It is also the lowest type of crime with which an intellectual or creator can be charged, so it’s no triviality that, last week, the Argentine justice found writer Pablo Katchadjian guilty. Continue reading

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Our Four Years

By Onnesha Roychoudhuri

“You’re just in time,” the woman tells me when I come back to the table. I haven’t retained her name, only the details — recently relocated from Tampa, Florida; thin, bright lipstick. The rest of my dinner companions have been living in New York for years, a group of primarily young white men at a friend-of-friend Thanksgiving dinner. Around the table, the men fell silent — a rare occurrence since I’d arrived. “We’re debating,” Tampa explains, “whether women are funny.” Continue reading

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December Horoscopes

By Ichrak Dahou

December brings a different quality of high octane energy than November did. The planets are reflecting excitement, nervous tension, and impatience with the status quo. Responding quickly to these impulses will be tempting, and easy to do. But a concurrent influence of caution, deliberateness, and strategy will allow us to rein in our compulsions.  Radical change is called for, but we must proceed with caution and consideration for what needs to be preserved. Continue reading

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Naked in Portland

By Jerry Harp

When my brother-in-law Bob came to town a few years ago, my wife Mary and I managed to give him something close to the quintessential Portland, Oregon, experience in the 18 hours he was here. Mary took him for a walk through the rhododendron garden down the street from where we live, then together we took him to a sushi restaurant famous for its decent food and wretched service (people crowd the sidewalk waiting to get in), and Powell’s City of Books, which we left just in time to get stuck in traffic as the annual Naked Bike Ride went by. Continue reading