Dear Readers,

In 1984, I moved to China to teach at Xiamen University. As a child and young adult, I’d done four one-year stays in Europe, but Asia was so  foreign it completely blew my mind. I started interviewing fellow-travelers for a book about our experiences and two or three years later handed a fat manuscript over to a literary agent. After maybe six months she returned it. No market. One mainstream publisher said they’d love to do my book, but they had just done three books on Asia from a western perspective and they were all financial disasters. The agent was … Read More

Encore Post: How to Succeed at Languages without Really Trying

I’m reposting this interview with one of my best students, if not the best,  because it offers good advice. It shows how natural learning becomes if you are truly immersed into something, maybe obsessed with it.

From 1966 to 2006, except for the three years I tried to be a studio potter, I taught foreign languages—either German to Americans or English to Chinese and Koreans. During that time there was one student whose language proficiency was a really remarkable achievement. By the time I met Byoung-ok, he’d made himself bilingual and bicultural. I thought at first that he’d gone to Read More

Memorial Post: A Memoirist of the Marcos Years, Part 3

In Part 1, Susan Quimpo, co-author of Subversive Lives, talks about her family as anti-Marcos activists during the period of martial law (Link). In Part 2 she describes the talks she gives to young people in the Philippines who don’t know that part of their nation’s history (Link). In Part 3, she describes her visit to the United States after the international version of the book was published in 2016 by Ohio University Press. She spoke primarily to members of the FilipinoAmerican community about the book and about what’s currently happening in the Read More