Kerry Brown reviews Story of the Stone, or Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin, translated by David Hawkes and John Minford

For me, 2017 will go down as the year I finally managed to make it through the David Hawkes and John Minford five volume translation of the Story of the Stone – (石头记) or , as it is more famously known, Dream of the Red Chamber (红楼 梦) (Penguin 1973–1986) by the Qing writer Cao Xueqin

By |2017-10-15T19:18:45-05:00August 31st, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Turgenev’s Letters by Ivan Turgenev, edited by A. V. Knowles

Aged about 19, I spent part of one summer reading the Penguin translations of the novels and short stories of Ivan Turgenev. That sits a bit stark in the memory now, because despite the exquisite impression they made, with their delicate descriptions of gentle disappointment and bitter sweet love, I never went back and reread them

By |2017-10-15T19:18:55-05:00August 29th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews More Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box: 50 Things You Need to Know about British Elections, edited by Philip Cowley and Robert Ford

More Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box: 50 Things You Need to Know about British Elections, edited by Philip Cowley and Robert Ford (Biteback Publishing 2016) has about 50 short essays by those despised “experts” that Secretary of State Michael Gove berated in 2016 during his own 15 minute stint at being famous. The book is

By |2017-10-15T19:19:08-05:00August 24th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerrry Brown reviews The Golden Lotus by Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng, translated by Clementon Egerton

The one thing I knew about the great Ming novel The Golden Lotus (Jinpingmei – 金瓶梅) by Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng (Tuttle 2011) was that it is regarded as an infamously explicit text with passages so inflammatory that its earlier translators into English rendered the most lurid into Latin, as a form of delicate censorship. This

By |2017-08-20T17:42:50-05:00August 17th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews The Killing Wind: A Chinese County’s Descent into Madness during the Cultural Revolution by Tan Heçheng

It is a sultry early autumn day in the central province of Hunan in China, half a century ago in 1967. In a small cluster of villages, remote from the main political centre in Beijing, life revolves around farming, tending animals, just making a basic living. But for a couple of weeks, from around the 20th

By |2017-10-15T19:19:20-05:00August 15th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews I Ching: The Essential Translation of the Ancient Chinese Oracle and Book of Wisdom translated by John Minford

I started 2017 by ending a reading of John Minford's magnificent translation of the classical Chinese uber-text, The Book of Changes (I-Ching, or, in pinyin, Yijing): I Ching: The Essential Translation of the Ancient Chinese Oracle and Book of Wisdom (Viking 2014). This is an Amazon affiliate link for your convenience. We also encourage you

By |2017-10-15T19:19:30-05:00August 10th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Why Mahler? How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed the World by Norman Lebrecht

The music critic Norman Lebrecht’s title to his study, Why Mahler? How One Man and Ten Symphonies Changed the World (Faber and Faber 2010) has the sort of in-your-face tone that characterises the rest of the book. He makes the sort of claims about Gustav Mahler that the literary critic Harold Bloom in his dotage made

By |2017-10-15T19:19:47-05:00August 8th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

Kerry Brown reviews Emotional Diplomacy by Todd Hall

Diplomacy and international relations are clearly a complex area. This is logical enough. Relations between two single people are enough to have inspired a large swathe of diverse literature. Magnify that by hundreds of thousands into the millions and you get the picture. It’s complicated. This is an Amazon affiliate link for your convenience. We

By |2017-10-15T19:20:16-05:00May 10th, 2017|Book reviews|0 Comments

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