A Decent Bottle of wine in China

Chris Ruffle

When Yorkshireman Chris Ruffle decided to build a vineyard complete with a Scottish castle in the midst of the countryside in eastern China, he was expecting difficulties, but nothing on the scale he encountered. But build it he did, and the wine is now flowing. A Decent Bottle of Wine in China tells the unique story of an adventurer determined to make his dream come true regardless of what strange and formidable obstacles are placed in his path.

While We're Here

Editors: Alec Ash and Tom Pellman

Anyone who has lived in China has stories to tell. For foreigners and Chinese alike, this is a land that transforms itself every day, with something to write about on every corner. Collected in this anthology are 33 contributions, a mix of narrative non-fiction, fiction and poetry, from the writers' colony the Anthill (theanthill.org). Together, they offer glimpses into this quicksilver country—by turns funny, touching and bizarre. Whether we stay or leave, the stories remain.

Tales of Old Tokyo

John D. Van Fleet

A breathtaking romp through the city’s Tokyo’s history from the mid 19th to the mid 20th century, with, using lots of images, writings and clippings to bring back to life those far-off days.

Gunboat Justice

Douglas Clark
Foreign gunboats forced China, Japan and Korea to open to the outside world in the mid-19th century. The treaties signed included rules forbidding local courts from trying foreigners; or, “extraterritoriality”. Britain and the United States established consular courts in all three countries and, as trade grew, the British Supreme Court for China and Japan and the United States Court for China. These courts for many decades - over 100 years in China -dispensed British and American justice in the Far East.
Extraterritoriality had a huge impact, which continues to this day, on how China and Japan view the world. This book tells its history through the fascinating cast of characters both on and before the bench and the many challenging issues the courts faced including war, riots, rebellion, corruption, murder, infidelity, and, even, a failed hanging

Manchu Decadence

The China Memoirs of Edmund Backhouse, abridged and unexpurgated

In 1898 a young Englishman walked into a homosexual brothel in Peking and began a journey that he claims took him all the way to the bedchamber of imperial China's last great ruler, the Empress Dowager Tz'u Hsi. The man was Sir Edmund Backhouse, and his controversial memoirs, Décadence Mandchoue, were published for the first time by Earnshaw Books in 2011. This edition, renamed Manchu Decadence, is abridged and unexpurgated and focuses on the most extraordinary and valuable elements of Backhouse's narrative.

Under Thunderous Skies

Miodrag Kojadinović

A girl in Shanghai in high-heels holds a doomed rabbit at the bequest of a client in Germany. The consul of the Austro Hungarian empire in  Canton talks with his mistress about their future of their son. A Chinese man cleans up the fingerprints around his English boyfriend’s body in an apartment in Macao. These unusual and intriguing stories of interactions between Chinese and non Chinese are the work of Author Miodrag Kojadinović, born in Serbia and for eight years a teacher of English in a remote corner of China.

China and the Chinese

Herbert Allen Giles

Herbert Giles was one of the most prominent Sinologists of the late 19th century and early 20th century and this book was in its era one of the best-selling and most authoritative books on the topic. Originally published in 1902, Giles’commentary, based on six lectures delivered at Columbia University in New York, still have a value for anyone trying to figure out the conundrum that is China.

Sixty-four Chance Pieces

A Cycle of Stories from the I Ching - The Book of Changes

The Chinese I Ching, the Book of Changes, is one of the oldest and strangest of all books, a masterpiece of world literature, a divination manual and a magnet for the deranged and the obsessive. In Sixty-Four Chance Pieces, novelist and philosopher Will Buckingham puts the I Ching to work, using it to weave together sixty-four stories of chance and change, each flowing from one of the I Ching’s 64 hexagrams. Moving between myth, fable and travel-writing, Sixty-Four Chance Pieces offers an attempt to make sense of the maddening, changeable book that is the I Ching with tales of inventors and fox-spirits, ancient poets and non-existent rulers, kleptomaniac pensioners and infernal bureaucrats. Like the I Ching itself, this new Book of Changes is a puzzle, a conundrum and a journey of many transformations, where nothing is quite what it seems.

Tea on the Great Wall

An American Girl in War-Torn China. By Patricia Luce Chapman

“Shirley Temple” in Wonderland meets Chinese opium addicts, Nazis, and Japanese bayonets. China in the 1930s and a young American girl is an eye-witness as the world falls apart. Patricia Luce Chapman’s memoir is full of the color and feel of living as a foreigner in a Chinese world, the encroachment of the Japanese, the takeover by the Nazis of the German school in Shanghai which she attended. This book more than any other brings to life the era and the link through to today.

A True Friend to China

The Friends Ambulance Unit ‘China Convoy’, 1945-1951. By Andrew Hicks

China in the late 1940s was another world, an ancient society still in the grips of feudalism, desperately poor and in need of modernisation. There are many formal histories of those pivotal and turbulent times but Jack Jones is among the few foreigners to have written contemporary accounts of day-to-day life there. Together with his fellow members of the Friends Ambulance Unit ‘China Convoy’, his long struggle to bring medical supplies and services to the poorest regions of China is vividly evoked in this book. Written by him as articles for the China Convoy’s newsletter and lost and unread for more than half a century, these have recently been discovered in Quaker archives in London and Philadelphia. An edited selection now tells the remarkable story of how Jack and his team battled against all the odds in life-threatening situations to help relieve the overwhelming suffering of the Chinese people.


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