Thanks to Christopher Ruane for a review of the new edition of China’s Forgotten People in Asian Affairs.
I went on Swedish radio to talk about Xinjiang and other small questions like the future of China. Listen here
Thanks to Creative Scotland for awarding me a grant to work on my next novel, which if you squint at, or close one eye, you could call a love story.
There’s a review of The False River in The Herald newspaper today.
‘The False River
The Willesden Herald Short Story Prize might not sound glitzy, but it allows Nick Holdstock’s story “Ward” (in which a teenage girl’s cancer diagnosis changes the course of her life) to be described as award-winning, which feels deserved. And judging by the quality of these stories, it won’t be his last accolade. Short story collections are often front-loaded with the best work, but The False River actually becomes more compelling as it goes along. His ease with dark and transgressive themes (animal-lovers should skip past “The Ballad of Poor Lucy Miller”) brings to mind a young Ian McEwan, but Holdstock is a multi-faceted writer who often seems to be urging his stories to break free of the frames surrounding them and even alters one character mid-story because he doesn’t like the direction it’s going. But mostly this accomplished collection is driven by a burning curiosity about the psychological states of its characters, and it should put him firmly on the literary map.
The start of ‘And Then’, a story from The False River, appears in today’s Scotsman newspaper.
The False River is out now.
With thanks to the publications in which some of this work first appeared – especially the Manchester Review, the Southern Review, and the Willesden Herald. I’m also grateful to editors like Emily Nemens (formerly of the Southern Review, now Paris Review Fiction Editor), Tom Vowler, and especially the late Jeanne Leiby, who was my first editor at the Southern Review, and offered me encouragement at a crucial time.
Thanks to Dan Eady for a long review (and a fair summary) of the new edition of China’s Forgotten People.
The first edition had a very different reception in SCMP – that reviewer lamented that ‘the book does little to bring to life the exotic and enchanting characteristics of Xinjiang’. Though that was by a different reviewer, the difference in tone seems indicative of a shift in the global perception of Xinjiang, and perhaps also of the very different situation in Hong Kong now compared to that in 2015.
Thanks to Tom Vowler for a fun interview now posted on the Unthank Blog. Glad to say peacocks get a mention.
Out September 26th. Pre-order here.
I wrote about editing for the Royal Literary Fund website.
I wrote a piece for Apollo magazine about the recent destruction of shrines and mosques in Xinjiang.
What’s often lacking in news stories about Xinjiang is context, especially of the region’s complex history, so I’m glad that the excellent ABC radio program Rear Vision focuses this week on the wider issues behind the concentration camps. The program features contributions from myself, the historian David Brophy, the Wall Street Journal correspondent Josh Chin, and Omer Kanat of the World Uyghur Congress. You can listen/download here.
I wrote about the arrest of the Kazakh activist Serikzhan Bilash and the links between the Uyghur and Kazakh communities in the region for the LRB Blog.
Bloomsbury will be publishing a new, updated edition of China’s Forgotten People in June. The update consists of a foreword and afterword that deals with the camps in Xinjiang – their origins and their rationale, what we know and what we don’t, and why this is such a terrible new chapter in the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to control and shape the region and its peoples.
I wrote about the camps in Xinjiang for Zocalo Public Square.
Glad to see Xinjiang getting coverage for Francophone audiences on National Radio in Canada- and I’m grateful to them for featuring my book China’s Forgotten People (segment starts around 13h 9m) https://ici.radio-canada.ca/premiere/emissions/plus-on-est-de-fous-plus-on-lit/episodes/427176/audio-fil-du-lundi-18-fevrier-2019 …
I wrote about the arrest of the photographer Lu Guang in Xinjiang for Frieze magazine.
I went on BBC Breakfast this morning to talk briefly about the Xinjiang camps.
I spoke briefly about the Xinjiang camps on the BBC Today program. They got my name wrong. Oh well! You can listen here
I spoke about the legalisation (and thus official acknowledgement of) the re-education camps in Xinjiang on the BBC last night. Segment begins at 24.49.
Thanks to Amy Hawkins for a thorough, perceptive review of my book (alongside two others) in the TLS.
“It is always refreshing to read anything on China that takes the focus away from Beijing and Shanghai … Holdstock is at his best when detailing China’s rural to urban transformation.”
I thought it was time to write a story that heavily features a goose.
My story, UCHANGE, is in the new issue of Banshee.
I wrote about the disappearance of Rahile Dawut (pictured holding the camera), and hundreds of thousands of other people in Xinjiang, for the LRB Blog.
My first story collection ‘The False River’ will be out next year from Unthank Press.
There’s an extract from Chasing the Chinese Dream up on the China Channel.
I spoke about Xinjiang and Theresa May’s visit to China on The World Tonight on Radio 4 last night. That segment starts at 12:52.
I wrote a short piece about the re-issue of Julien Gracq’s novel for the TLS.