September 24, 2013 § Leave a Comment
In what will probably be my only publication as a literary scholar (i.e. I wrote it ages ago, when I was still doing my PhD) I have a chapter in a beautifully designed book: Thomas Pynchon & the (de)vices of global (post)modernity.
My chapter is ‘You can’t always blame zombies for their condition’: Utopian escapes in Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice‘.
Also see my piece on attending the conference that the book is based on….
September 23, 2013 § Leave a Comment
My new essay on knowing a Chinese James Bond is in the new issue of The Dublin Review
This is how it starts:
Everyone in Shaoyang Teachers’ College said Mr Ma had been a spy. If this was supposed to be a secret, it was badly kept. When I first met him, in 1999, Mr Ma was in his mid thirties. He wore black glasses with thick lenses; his hair was in retreat; there was frequently a look of astonishment on his face. He was bashful, polite, prone to excessive laughter. But the fact that he didn’t look or act like a spy only made the rumours more plausible. It meant that he had been a good spy.
September 5, 2013 § Leave a Comment
My take on the Bo Xilai trial, the biggest political trial in China for decades, now up at the LRB blog
August 29, 2013 § Leave a Comment
(Part 1 of 2)
As has been well documented in discussions of the cultural situation in Xinjiang, many minority people in Xinjiang feel the future of their language and culture is insecure. Efforts to replace Uyghur-medium education begun in 2004 have intensified as the capillary spread of Chinese capitalism embeds its network and ideology deeper and deeper into southern Xinjiang. Although the first site of conflict was urban Uyghur schools, the extension of the railroad to Hotan has brought with it the “
July 23, 2013 § Leave a Comment
July 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
My piece on cheating in Chinese education is on the LRB blog.