Year: 2015

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Writ­ing in the The New York Times, for­mer North Kore­an counter-intel­li­­gence offi­cer and poet Jang Jin-sung observed that his deci­sion to flee the DPRK was pre­cip­i­tat­ed by a real­iza­tion “that there are two North Kore­as: one real and the oth­er a …

Book Review: San­dra Fahy’s March­ing Through Suf­fer­ing: Loss & Sur­vival in North Korea Read More »

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In some­thing of a home­com­ing, I had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to speak at the Trin­i­ty Gram­mar School Prepara­to­ry School assem­bly about Empire of the Waves in mid-Novem­ber. Since I wrote this nov­el as a kind of let­ter to my strange and …

Trin­i­ty Gram­mar School Prepara­to­ry School Read More »

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Last week I had the plea­sure of attend­ing the last assem­bly of the term at Cam­denville Pub­lic School in New­town. On the invi­ta­tion of Prin­ci­pal Sue Smith — a fel­low lover of fan­ta­sy lit­er­a­ture — I had the hon­our of …

Cam­denville Pub­lic School Cre­ative Writ­ing Com­pe­ti­tion Read More »

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Kid’s Book Review is one of the best online resources for lovers of Aus­tralian chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture, and Aus­tralian lovers of chil­dren’s lit­er­a­ture. It’s a place brim­ming with reviews and inter­views and resources for read­ers of all ages, par­ents, stu­dents, teach­ers …

Kids’ Book Review Guest Posts Read More »

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Word and image are alchem­i­cal­ly bound in children’s lit­er­a­ture. Lewis Carroll’s Alice is John Tenniel’s Alice. Ken­neth Grahame’s Rat and Mole and Toad are E.H. Shepard’s too. Of course, thou­sands of artists have illus­trat­ed these words in the gen­er­a­tions since …

The Emu and the Lion: A Reflec­tion on Illus­tra­tion for Chil­dren Read More »

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The promise of a rail jour­ney fills the heart with the true spir­it of trav­el. Fly­ing always feels like cheat­ing. And so it was that full of the trav­el­ling spir­it I depart­ed on a sleep­er train from Hanoi to Lao …

Sa Pa Read More »

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After a late depar­ture fol­low­ing fero­cious storms, I depart for a sky trem­bling with tur­bu­lence in an almost emp­ty Chi­nese plane. The Viet­namese sci­en­tist I befriend­ed in the long wait in Bei­jing keeps me com­pa­ny, and wor­ries as I become …

Hanoi Read More »

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Over at Sino-NK, you can now find the con­clud­ing install­ment of my two-part series, explor­ing the child­hood hagiogra­phies of the North Kore­an lead­ers. Last time, I con­sid­ered the ear­ly life of Kim Jong Il, the “heav­en-sent” boy des­tined to become …

Hagiog­ra­phy of the Kims & the Child­hood of Saints: Kim Il Sung Read More »

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The back­wa­ters of Ker­ala are beau­ti­ful, a deluxe labyrinth of canals — some cool, coconut lined and qui­et, oth­ers as packed and pol­lut­ed as a Bom­bay fly­over. Depend­ing on your ten­den­cy to wor­ry, it is either Venice among the palms, …

The Hug­ging Moth­er of Ker­ala Read More »

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